In the United States today, the lab test services industry is made up of 3 different market segments. Lab test services can be provided to you via a Physician’s Office Lab (POL), a Hospital Laboratory or a Reference Laboratory.
2,500 Locations. Lab Results 24-48 hours. No Doctors visit needed.
Each of these three different types of labs can provide lab test services that are a little different from each other. Two of the largest Reference laboratories are Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp. A few of the to notch Hospitals and Clinics that have excellent lab test services are Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore or the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. All of these labs Are CLIA certified. CLIA stands for the Clinical laboratory Act of 1988. This was a law that was developed to improve the quality of laboratory medicine. This article will also focus on lab tests online which can be ordered directly by consumers.
Lab test services are traditionally provided through a primary care physician who orders a battery of tests for his or her patient. A lab prescription is written and the patient takes the prescription to the laboratory to have his or her blood drawn. From this point, the hospital, reference lab or POL will perform the lab testing. Most POL’s can only perform moderately complex testing where hospitals can perform highly complex testing. Moderately complex testing for example can be a complete blood count or a comprehensive metabolic panel. Highly complex testing is for example Hepatitis Antibody testing or HIV testing. Hospital Labs will usually offer lab test services to their patients that are admitted to the hospital and reference labs will provide services to physicians in the community. POL’s can only provide lab test services to their own patients. A POL cannot perform lab testing to other physician’s patients as they are not licensed to test for patients outside of the physicians practice.
With all of the traditional testing, there are online lab test services that are directed to consumers that do not have health insurance and cannot afford to make the multiple visits to their doctor to get a lab prescription and review their lab results. This is called Direct Access Testing or what is also known as direct to consumer lab testing. All you have to do is go to Google and type in “lab testing online” and you can find several companies that can provide consumers lab test services that will not require a doctor’s visit.
With this being said, it is possible to get your lab test services performed in 47 states or what others refer to as online lab testing without a prescription. The states that do not allow for this are New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. These three states still have not come around to the 21st century and adopted the Personal health care revolution that is taking place. We have some hope for these three states still. For consumers it’s as simple as creating a HIPPA compliant secure account and than paying for your lab testing. From this point, you would print out your lab prescription and then locate blood test labs or draw centers that are closest to you. You would than visit any of these blood test labs and have your blood drawn by a certified phlebotomist. Once you get your blood drawn, the sample is sent to the local reference lab to be tested and your lab results are usually ready within 48 hours. If there is any specialized testing or what may be called esoteric testing, the sample may be required to be shipped to a special lab. This could add a day or two to the turnaround time of your lab test services. The blood test labs are usually located in densely populated areas such as cities or heavily populated suburban locations. Another question is the type of testing Can one order HIV test online ? Is this even possible without making a doctors appointment?
Some of the tests that are ordered are mostly based on health and Wellness testing. This is the Lipid Profile, Complete Blood Count, Electrolyte panel, Comprehensive metabolic panel, Kidney and Liver profile, hormone and allergy testing and nutrition testing. There is some cancer screening testing like the PSA for men. This is a very popular test for men over the age of 40 who should routinely get this test at least once a year. With all of the choices out there and with the evolution of healthcare, lab test services are an extremely important part of healthcare. It is common knowledge in the healthcare community that 70% of the information that is needed to diagnose the health of an individual is based on the clinical laboratory results that are used to interpret one’s health status. With that being said, online lab test services are vital and should be recognized as a critical service that Americans adopt and commit to routinely.