Frequently Asked Questions

The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving, and these decisions are made with the best interest of patient, staff and community in mind. 

UW Health will provide a daily media update for the community.

UW Health COVID-19 Information Line

For facts about COVID-19, you can call (608) 720-5300

Children and COVID-19 Concerns

What is multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children?

While both adults and children can get COVID-19, healthy children seem to be less affected, have milder symptoms and recover quicker. While this continues to be true, there has been a recent increase in young patients with exposure to COVID-19 who later develop a unique set of symptoms. This prompted the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to issue a health alert.

This condition, while extremely rare, causes body parts to become inflamed and  blood vessels to enlarge.  It is being referred to as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Read more

Is it safe for my child to play organized sports?

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented stoppage of all youth sports over the past few months. As the state begins to reopen and we start to settle into the new normal with COVID-19, there are many questions about when and how to resume participation in athletics.

As of June 3, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends youth sports organizations consult with state and local health officials before resuming participation due to the many challenges of containing the virus in group settings. Additionally, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) recommends youth sporting events for the summer be postponed or cancelled, unless the sport or activity can be performed fully while complying with social distancing measures. Children’s Wisconsin and American Family Children’s Hospital/UW Health support following DHS and CDC guidance to safely protect kids and our community from the spread and unknown risks of COVID-19. Learn more about understanding and interpreting the CDC guidelines for youth sports (pdf)

Billing and Insurance

What is the price of COVID-19 testing?

In accordance with the CARES Act, UW Health’s cash price for the COVID-19 diagnostic test (Bill Code 87635) is $126. The cash price for the antibody test (Bill Code 86769) and blood draw (Bill Code 34615) is $117.

What should I know about COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing billing and insurance coverage?

COVID-19 antibody testing is covered by insurance only when it is medically necessary and indicated. In the case that your insurance does not cover the cost for antibody testing, you will be billed a self-pay rate cash price of $117. The cash price for the diagnostic COVID-19 test is $126. If you have questions about your coverage for any COVID-19 testing, please contact your insurance company.

Do I need to pay in advance for COVID-19 testing, treatment or follow up care?

Patients are not required to pay in advance for COVID-19 testing, treatment or follow-up care with a UW Health provider. While patients may be billed for these services later, UW Health does not want anyone who is recommended for testing to postpone having the test or any treatment due to concerns about cost. COVID-19 testing and follow-up care will qualify for the UW Health Financial Assistance Program.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 contact your healthcare provider via phone, MyChart or Care Anywhere for a video visit.

What should I know about billing and insurance for telephone and telehealth visits?

Insurance companies’ coverage policies are evolving quickly in response to COVID-19. Many are implementing policies to temporarily pay for telephone and telehealth/video visits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and some are waiving cost sharing, including co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles for select services received from in-network providers. If you have questions about your specific insurance benefits, we ask that you please contact your insurance company using the number listed on the back of your card.

The sections below serve as a guide based on the information that is available at this time.

Telephone Visits

Insured Patients: Patients are notified during the scheduling process that scheduled telephone visits will be billed to their insurance. Claims will be submitted to the insurance company and co-pays/deductibles/co-insurance will be billed to the patient as determined by the payer.

Uninsured/Self-Pay patients and insured patients whose visits are denied by the payer as non-covered: The self-pay discount (currently 33%) will be applied to the total charges before the patient is billed. Financial assistance is available to patients who qualify. Financial assistance program details can be found here.

Telehealth/Video Visits

Insured Patients: Patients are notified during the scheduling process that scheduled video visits will be billed to their insurance. Claims will be submitted to the insurance company and co-pays/deductibles/co-insurance will be billed to the patient as determined by the payer.

Uninsured/Self-Pay patients and insured patients whose visits are denied by the payer as non-covered: The self-pay discount (currently 33%) will be applied to the total charges before the patient is billed. Financial assistance is available to patients who qualify.  Financial assistance program details can be found here.

CareAnywhere (On-Demand) Video Visits

Patients Seeing a UW Health Provider:

  • 8am to 8am, Monday through Friday
  • 8am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday

Insured Patients:  Claims will be submitted to the insurance company and co-pays/deductibles/co-insurance will be billed to the patient as determined by the payer.  Maximum out of pocket cost will be $49.

Uninsured/Self-Pay Patients:  No pre-pay required. Maximum out of pocket cost will be $49.  Financial assistance is available to patients who qualify.

Patient Seeing an Amwell Provider:

  • 8pm to 8am, Monday through Friday
  • 4pm to 8am, Saturday and Sunday

Quartz Patients: Claims will be submitted to the insurance company and co-pays/deductibles/co-insurance will be billed to the patient as determined by the payer.

All Other Patients: Pre-payment of $49 is required prior to the visit.

MyChart E-visits

Quartz Patients: Claims will be submitted to the insurance company and co-pays/deductibles/co-insurance will be billed to the patient as determined by the payer.

Non-Quartz Patients: Pre-payment of $30 is required prior to the visit.

What if I need help with insurance premium payments?

Quartz and UW Health are teaming up with the United Way of Dane County to fund HealthConnect. HealthConnect helps local families pay for health insurance premiums.

I lost my job recently and need health insurance, what are my options?

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has prompted job losses and income reductions, leading many families to seek new sources of health coverage or additional help paying for it. Find answers to questions about health insurance coverage and eligibility (pdf).

Appointments

Is my appointment going to be changed to a telephone or video visit?
  • To support physical distancing and slow the spread of COVID-19 we are reviewing all scheduled care to determine if it needs to be completed as planned, be done virtually over the phone or video.
  • Our providers continue to review all upcoming appointments and are working to reschedule appointments as quickly as possible. As they make decisions about changes or postponements, we will contact the patients to inform them of the change.
  • If you do not hear about a change prior to your appointment, you should plan for your care to continue as scheduled.
What steps is UW Health taking to make sure patients stay safe at the clinics and hospitals?

The onset of COVID-19 caused UW Health and virtually all healthcare systems to temporarily postpone many surgical and diagnostic procedures and clinic appointments during the past several weeks as they prepared for a surge in COVID-19 cases.

These postponements were always considered temporary, and we are pleased that conditions now allow UW Health to safely reschedule some of these deferred procedures and appointments. We understand that you and your family may have questions about coming into a medical facility at this time, and we are taking every precaution possible to make your hospital or clinic visit safe. Learn more about the precautions taking place at the hospitals and clinics

Prevention

How do I prevent COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

Avoid close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

How to protect others

  • Stay home if you are sick. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow
  • Throw used tissues in the trash
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
How do I prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus)?
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw the tissue into the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care if you need it
  • Try to stay 6 feet away from other people in the community
Are younger adults at risk?

Young adults are not immune from this serious illness and should protect themselves from exposure. Read more myths and facts

What if I have been in contact with someone who may have been ill with COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

Stay home for 14 days from the time of contact and take these steps to monitor your health and practice physical distancing (avoiding public places):

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for symptoms.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing physical distancing.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
I feel fine - do I need to take precautions?

It is looking like a sizable number of people can be infected by COVID-19 and show no symptoms. There’s a big threat to public health if infected people with no symptoms don’t isolate and spread the virus to others. So take all precautions even if you are feeling well. Read more myths and facts

Can I be tested for COVID-19?

If you are experiencing any of the common symptoms or have worsening symptoms, contact your healthcare provider by phone or MyChart to schedule a test.

If you are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we recommend that you visit the community testing site at Alliant Energy Center.

UW Health is currently unable to test asymptomatic patients.

Should I wear a mask?

Recent studies have shown that many individuals with COVID-19 can transmit the virus without showing any symptoms through speaking, coughing or sneezing. While the most critical step to stopping the spread of the virus is still physical distancing, good hygiene and hand washing with soap and water, wearing a face covering in essential public settings (grocery store, pharmacy) can provide an extra layer of protection.

For more information on the use of masks and how to prevent illness, please see the CDC guidelines.

Can I travel for vacation or work?

The CDC is currently recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to all global destinations. For additional information including countries with Level 3 Travel notices, please see the CDC guidelines.

Symptoms and Care

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days with the average being 5 days after exposure.

  • Fever (100◦F or higher)
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath/chest tightness (for those under 12 - increased work of breathing)
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Headache
  • Severe fatigue/exhaustion
  • Muscle pain

For children under 12, symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Poor feeding/appetite
  • Plus at least one respiratory symptom

UW Health advises:

  • Stay home when you are sick and limit contact with others.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizing gel.
  • Cover your cough with your elbow and sneeze into a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects in your home (cellphones, for example).
  • Do not travel while sick.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 contact your healthcare provider via phone, MyChart or Care Anywhere for a video visit.

If you are experiencing severe respiratory symptoms, call 911.

Can I get tested for COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

If you are experiencing any of the common symptoms or have worsening symptoms, contact your healthcare provider by phone or MyChart to schedule a test.

If you are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 but want to be tested, we recommend that you visit the community testing site at Alliant Energy Center.

UW Health is currently unable to test asymptomatic patients.

I have a previously scheduled appointment and I am healthy, should I go?

We are asking some patients with non-urgent routine visits to complete their appointments via telephone or through online resources like Care Anywhere or Telehealth or reschedule appointments to a later date.

If UW Health needs to cancel your appointment, you will be contacted directly.

What do I do if I become ill?

UW Health advises:

  • Stay home when you are sick and limit contact with others. People who are mildly ill are able to isolate at home. Stay at home until you are instructed to leave to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. (Learn about self-isolation)
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizing gel
  • Cover your cough with your elbow and sneeze into a tissue
  • Avoid public areas
  • Avoid public transportation
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects in your home (cellphones, for example)
  • Do not travel while sick
  • Do not share personal items, like dishes, towels or bedding
  • Seek medical attention if your illness is worsening, but before you go to a doctor or clinic, call first
  • Wear a facemask before you enter a shared space
  • Practice self-care

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider via phone, MyChart or Care Anywhere for a video visit.

If you are experiencing severe respiratory symptoms, call 911.

How do I know if I have the flu or COVID-19?

Because symptoms are similar for flu and COVID-19, it is impossible to know for sure if you may have one or the other. Both are contagious viruses that cause respiratory illness.

Why it might be flu: Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly. Most who get the flu recover in two weeks or less, although about 1 percent of people need to be hospitalized.

Why it might be COVID-19: You are more likely to have COVID-19 if you have respiratory symptoms AND one of the following is true:

  • You recently traveled to a country with Level 3 Travel notices (for a listing, see the CDC's latest guidelines)
  • You have been in direct contact (were coughed on by or were within 6 feet of) with someone suspected of having COVID-19.
  • There has been community spread of the COVID-19 virus in your area or to an area you traveled.
Where can I find additional information?
Should pregnant or breastfeeding individuals be concerned?

Information on COVID-19 is constantly updating. While there has not been documented evidence of COVID-19 being transmitted either through breast milk or while the baby is in utero, it is important that individuals take steps to reduce their risk of exposure. Read information for pregnant and breastfeeding individuals and newborns

Are there good treatment drugs available?

In the media, the malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been suggested as treatments for COVID-19, but there is no known drug cure yet. Read more myths and facts

Can ibuprofen be harmful for someone diagnosed with COVID-19?

While there’s no evidence on ibuprofen risks for most people, consult with your healthcare provider on your best treatment for the virus. Read more myths and facts

Physical Distancing

Can I go out in public places?

For those individuals residing in Dane County, the Forward Dane plan provides guidance for the re-opening of our community. Many counties have established their own local ordinances. Please check with your community to learn what the current guidelines are for preventing the spread of the virus.

Can I have friends over?

The best way to stay healthy is to avoid gatherings where it is difficult to physically distance. For ideas on how to socialize and stay safe, both indoors and out, visit Forward Dane. For those residing outside of Dane County, please check with your community to learn what the current guidelines are for preventing the spread of the virus.

Can I see family and friends during holidays?

For those individuals residing in Dane County, the Forward Dane plan provides guidance for the re-opening of our community, including spending time with friends and family. Many counties have established their own local ordinances. If your family and friends are out of town, consider checking to see what their community's current guidelines are for preventing the spread of the virus. Since some family members are more vulnerable, see the CDC guidelines for additional precautions.

Information for Patients with Specific Health Concerns

High Risk and Elderly Patients

If you are at high risk or an older adult, UW Health recommends you review the Center for Disease Control’s advice on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Populations at additional risk include:

  • Those who have heart disease
  • Those with diabetes
  • Those with lung disease, including asthma
  • Those who are taking immune suppression drugs
  • Those who are being treated for cancer
  • Anyone age 60+

Review what high risk and elderly patients should know

Cancer Patients

The well-being and safety of our cancer patients at the UW Carbone is always our top priority. Information related to COVID-19 is constantly changing. Please review our precautions for cancer patients for information on appointments and ways to stay healthy.

Transplant Patients

The well-being and safety of our transplant patients is always our top priority. Information related to COVID-19 is constantly changing. Please continue to check this site for precautions for transplant patients.

Type 1 Diabetes Patients

While there is no higher risk of patients with Type 1 diabetes getting COVID-19, the risk of complications is higher especially in patients with consistently elevated blood sugar levels and secondary chronic disease. Learn more about managing diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Plasma Donation

Patients who have fully recovered from COVID-19 may have antibodies in their plasma that can help others fight the disease and support research efforts.

Please call the Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767 for more information on donating convalescent plasma.

What is convalescent plasma?

Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood collected from patients who have recovered from an infection. Antibodies are special proteins in the plasma that have the potential to be used to fight the infection.

How do I know if I am eligible to donate plasma?

To be eligible for the trial, potential donors must have received a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and be symptom free for at least 14 days. Donors will be retested to confirm they are no longer infected.

Who can I contact if I am interested in donating plasma?