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Innovative Express Care Announces New COVID-19 Testing Center

New COVID-19 Testing Center

Beginning July 15, Innovative Express Care will move all COVID-19 testing to a new, larger testing center located at 1111 W. Diversey Parkway (former Mini dealership). This location offers ample parking, space for check-in and testing tents, and an indoor location for antibody testing. We expect to increase our capacity to 500 tests per day with this move. 

COVID-19 is here to stay for awhile, and increased testing is key to identifying cases early, so we can keep virus activity low. The start of summer, combined with Illinois subsequently entering phase 4, means people are in much closer contact with others than they were during the spring. The majority of people getting tested are asymptomatic individuals who want to be sure they are not unknowingly carrying the virus. This is often because they are headed back to work, planning to travel, or wish to visit elderly family members. Getting tested for COVID-19 before you do these things is recommended. If we can catch the virus early, we can prevent it from spreading to others. 

Who Should be Tested for COVID-19?

I believe everyone who has been out and in close contact with others should be tested. This is especially important if you are visiting with extended family and elderly relatives, if you are returning to work, or have been in large groups. There is no longer a shortage of tests or PPE equipment for medical workers, so asymptomatic individuals can, and should, be tested. 

Schedule a COVID-19 Virus or Antibody Test

Innovative Express Care offers COVID-19 testing 7 days/week. Our new, larger location allows us to see up to 500 patients each day. COVID-19 virus testing is done outdoors, either while you are in your car, or in our outdoor medical tent. We offer the virus swab test, as well as the COVID-19 rapid test

COVID-19 antibody testing is done indoors, as that test requires a blood draw. Appointments can be made online

Three Types of Testing Offered

Innovative Express Care offers three types of testing:

  1. COVID-19 virus swab test
    • Typically covered 100 percent by insurance*
    • Results in 3-5 days
  2. Rapid COVID-19 test 
    • Same-day results (within four hours)
    • Cost $150
    • Not covered by insurance
    • Swab test performed in addition to rapid test to ensure accuracy
  3. COVID-19 antibody test
    • Typically covered 100 percent by insurance*
    • Results in 1-2 daysv

The Rapid test we use is Sofia SARS-CoV-2 antigen FIA by Quidel. We believe this is the most accurate rapid test on the market, however, since rapid tests have a lower accuracy rate than the virus swab test, the Rapid COVID-19 Test is only available as an add-on to virus swab testing. The rapid test is not covered by insurance. Payment of $150 will be required at the time of service. 

Testing for Uninsured Patients

Patients who have no medical insurance can be tested for FREE under the federal CARES Act. If you have insurance, but we do not accept your plan, please inquire about self-pay rates. 

Protect Yourself and Others

You can’t isolate forever, but I strongly urge you to continue taking precautions as you venture out. Wear a mask in public places and when you can’t maintain a safe distance from others and remember that people who have underlying health conditions are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19.

Stay well Chicago. 

COVID-19 Antibody Testing Available at Innovative Express Care

COVID-19 Antibody Testing

 

I’m excited to announce that we now offer COVID-19 antibody testing at Innovative Express Care. This is important, as the simple blood test will determine if you’ve already had the novel coronavirus (perhaps unknowingly), or if you are still at risk of getting sick. Here’s how it works and why it’s important.

COVID-19 launches a response in the body 

The COVID-19 virus causes our immune system to react and develop antibodies to fight the virus. When IgG antibodies are found in the blood, we can deduct that the individual has had COVID-19. The antibody test is fast and done right here in our office. We’ll send the blood sample to our lab and call you with results in 2-5 days. 

Why is antibody testing important? 

Antibody testing has many benefits. Patients who test positive for the antibodies will have peace of mind in knowing they are not likely to get sick, as the chance of getting COVID-19 a second time is very low. 

Individuals who are elderly or have underlying health conditions will benefit from knowing if they have antibodies so they can make informed decisions about how much socialization to resume. The COVID-19 antibody test will also provide important data on the scale of coronavirus infections in our community. 

Lastly, antibody testing will identify who is a potential candidate for plasma donation. Plasma is being explored as a possible treatment option for those critically ill with COVID-19. 

How do I get an antibody test?

Innovative Express Care offers antibody testing daily. You can schedule an appointment online. Insurance is accepted for the visit and test. Self-pay is also an option. 

Patients arriving for antibody tests will be evaluated at our outdoor medical tent prior to testing. If you are symptomatic or have been symptomatic in the last 14 days, we will also do a COVID-19 swab to check for the active virus. If you have not had any symptoms in 14 days, we will do only the antibody testing. 

This is exciting news and an important step in fighting COVID-19 in our community. Please share with family and friends and encourage them to get tested. Identifying who is at risk versus who has had the virus will lend important information to help us bend the curve.

Chicago Tribune: The race for an effective COVID-19 treatment

Chicago Tribune: COVID-19 Treatment

Dr. Khare was quoted in the Chicago Tribune Article: “The race for an effective COVID-19 treatment: Hunches, trials and no clear answer”

Despite all the ongoing efforts, doctors and scientists stress that no treatment for COVID-19 has been proved to help patients without causing too much harm.

“If my family member ever got this, I would not tell them to use any of those things, truthfully, unless it was really life threatening, and on the ventilator, and we’ve done everything else we could,” said Dr. Rahul Khare, founder and CEO of Innovative Express Care, an immediate care clinic on the North Side.

“I would then ask the (infectious disease) specialist if he thinks this is the time to try it, because truthfully we don’t know enough, and it could do more harm than good,” Khare added. “And the studies that have been out are not convincing, that’s for sure.”

 

Read More >> 

Dr. Khare in the Chicago Tribune: #masks4all

Dr. Khare was featured talking about #masks4all in the Chicago Tribune:

“I think if everyone used masks, it would decrease the amount of transmission of the virus,” said Dr. Rahul Khare, CEO of the Innovative Express Care immediate care facility on the North Side. “By putting a face mask over your nose and mouth, you’re decreasing the amount of the virus particles and therefore decreasing transmission rates.”

 

Jimmy Smart, 32, wears a mask while walking his dog in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood on April 1, 2020.
Jimmy Smart, 32, wears a mask while walking his dog in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood on April 1, 2020.(Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)

 

Khare said he wants government officials to switch gears and advise people to wear masks if they must leave their homes. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reportedly considering new guidance on the subject, while President Donald Trump has said it might not be a bad idea.

Read More>>

7 Ways to Lower Cholesterol

Innovative Express Care is a primary and urgent care in Lincoln Park, Chicago. They work with patients that have high cholesterol and give great advice on how to keep it down naturally. As you may know, there are two types of cholesterol: HDL, known as the good cholesterol and LDL, known as bad cholesterol. 

Eat foods high in HDL

HDL is known as good cholesterol. HDL carries bad cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver which removes the cholesterol from your body. Some foods rich in HDL are oats, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado, and fatty fish. 

Avoid foods low in LDL

LDL is known as the bad cholesterol. LDL raises your chances of having heart disease, heart attack, or stroke by clogging your arteries. It is also linked to diabetes and high blood pressure. Foods to avoid are pretty simple. That means no junk food (chips, candy, cookies, ice cream, soda), fried foods, and red meat or fatty pork.

Eat more fruits & veggies

Colorful fruits and vegetables should be added to your diet. Any natural produce with no cholesterol and low-fat is a great base for a healthy diet. 

Exercise 

Losing weight and maintaining a healthy BMI will help you lose LDL. If you exercise for 30 minutes each day, it raises your HDL which will overall lower your LDL. 

Quit Smoking

Smoking is linked to an increase in LDL, the bad cholesterol. The added chemicals and nicotine in cigarettes make your artery walls stiff, makes your blood vessels narrow,  makes your blood thicker, and increases your blood pressure and heart rate. When you quit smoking it raises your HDL, the good cholesterol.

Limit Alcohol Use

Using alcohol frequently raises LDL. It is even worse if you are mixing alcohol with sugary soda and juices. Yet, drinking wine in moderation has been linked to lowering LDL and raises HDL in the body.  

Manage Stress

Long term stress is very bad for your heart, especially your cholesterol levels. It can raise LDL both directly and indirectly. Stress  can raise cholesterol directly through hemoconcentration, cortisol, fatty acids, and it also causes other negative effects on the heart that can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, etc. It indirectly raises LDL, because a stressed person is more prone to eating unhealthier and not exercising. You should spend time each day to manage your stress levels. Take a yoga class, work on your breathing, find time to do what you love outside of work, spend time with friends, or even read your favorite book. Lastly, make sure you get a good night’s rest!

Schedule an appointment with our primary care doctors today.

Bootstrapping in America: An Interview with Dr. Rahul Khare

Bootstrapping in America

After twelve years as an emergency medicine physician and researcher, Rahul Khare, MD, founder and CEO of Innovative Care, left his stable academic life to become an entrepreneur. Learn about his journey and how Innovative Care was formed in this episode of Bootstrapping in America.

Watch Now >>

Hair Removal with the Palomar Vectus Laser

laser hair removalInnovative MedSpa is committed to providing the highest quality, most effective, skincare solutions for our clients. This is why we chose the Palomar Vectus Laser for permanent hair removal.

Laser hair removal means no more plucking, shaving, waxing, or threading, but not every laser is created equal. Our skincare experts at Innovative MedSpa researched a variety of hair removal devices in search for the most effective and efficient laser on the market….and we found it!

VIRTUALLY PAINLESS

Lasers use both light and heat to achieve its desired results. The Vectus laser is designed with sapphire tips that shed their heat quickly and apply focused light only at the roots of the hair while leaving skin cool. An advanced cooling system means a more comfortable, skin-friendly session.

FEWER AND FASTER SESSIONS

The Vectus laser has the MOST uniform beam profile, and it reaches hair follicles in every phase of growth for more thorough removal. This reduces the amount of treatments required to achieve smooth, hair-free skin. The large spot size allows us to treat even large areas in a very short amount of time.

EFFECTIVE FOR ALL SKIN TONES

Older laser removal systems had one major drawback: They could cause skin pigmentation changes around hair follicles. This meant that for people with deeper skin tones, laser hair removal might not be an option. The Vectus laser system features the only FDA approved melanin reader: the easy-to-use Skintel Melanin Reader. It analyzes skin tone and adjusts the light spectrum to automatically target melanin in hair, not in skin.

PERMANENT

Almost every other form of hair removal needs to be repeated. Shaving regrowth appears after just a day or two. Depilation creams typically last three to five days. With waxing, and plucking, you could wait weeks to see new growth, but the hair still returns. The Vectus laser offers a permanent solution.