Direct-to-Consumer Diagnostic Testing

Quest Diagnostics will allow consumers to purchase basic lab tests without a physician’s consent.

Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics

A November 23rd Medscape article discussed Quest Diagnostics’ new pilot program aimed at empowering patients to take a more active role in their health. The company will allow residents of Missouri and Colorado to order complete blood counts, comprehensive metabolic panels, hepatitis C screenings, and other basic lab tests directly from them without the consent of a physician.

Some tests, such as pregnancy, total cholesterol and urinalysis, can be ordered a la carte, while others come in groups that can outline a basic health profile. To order tests, consumers download a form from Quest’s website, fill it out, and bring a hard copy to a testing center. Test results are available online, but the company recommends sharing test results with a physician for proper interpretation. Because the tests are ordered by a physician, Quest is unable to bill insurance carriers, and patients must pay out of pocket.

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