Identifying the most appropriate COVID-19 testing codes, testing sites and type of test to use can be confusing. The guidance below can make it easier for you to refer your patients to high-quality, lower-cost COVID-19 testing sites, find Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus (Empire)-contracted laboratories and identify the proper CPT® codes to use. Contact your Empire representative for additional information or visit


Refer patients to to find convenient testing locations

If an Empire member requests a COVID-19 test, you may refer them to Empire to find a testing location near them. Our test-site finder gives members important information about each site, including days and hours of operation, and if they offer

  • Appointment or walk-in
  • Drive through service
  • Rapid test results
  • Antibody testing
  • Testing for children


Consider Antigen testing as an option when rapid results are needed

Antigen tests can be a quicker way to detect COVID-19 than nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), (for example, PCR). Antigen tests offer a reasonable and lower cost alternative when screening asymptomatic or low-risk patients and may be most useful for individuals within the first five to seven days of symptoms when virus replication is at its highest.


Send swab tests to Empire-contracted laboratories

When providing COVID-19 molecular testing services to our members, consider utilizing the following additional in-network, high-quality labs to assist in helping to ensure that our members are receiving high-value healthcare.


In-network lab



Invitae Corporation



NYE-NU-0311-21 March 2021


Featured In:
May 2021 Newsletter