Direct Access Lab Testing Can Help You Manage Your Health

The next time you see your primary care provider for an annual physical, there’s a good chance he or she will order at least one laboratory test. Typically using blood or urine samples, these tests are some of the most valuable tools in medicine. They provide a look into the hidden world of your body—and important information about the state of your health.

Usually, your primary care provider or another medical provider orders lab tests. However, a service called direct access lab testing lets you obtain certain tests at River’s Edge Hospital Direct Access Laboratory Testing without a provider’s order. That can help you stay on top of your health, but it’s important to discuss the results with your provider.

What Is Direct Access Lab Testing?

Direct access lab testing allows individuals to request select lab tests without seeing a medical provider. When you order one of these tests, you’ll pay up front and out of pocket. That’s because many insurance carriers, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, don’t cover direct access lab services.

Your results will arrive by mail within a few days, but they won’t go to your medical provider’s office. You’ll need to make an appointment with your medical provider if you want to share your results with him or her.

Reasons to Consider Direct Access Lab Testing

  • Direct access lab testing may be a cost-effective option if you don’t have health insurance or have a high-deductible health plan.
  • Closer monitoring of your health. With direct access testing, you can check certain health indicators more frequently than with provider-ordered tests. This allows you to obtain valuable information to take to appointments with your medical provider.
  • You don’t have to make an appointment and wait to see a medical provider to obtain direct access lab tests.
  • You can ensure you’re the only person who sees your results. However, it’s generally advisable to discuss them with your medical provider.

Keep Your Medical Provider in the Loop

Lab tests can provide information about your risk for many health conditions, reveal whether certain diseases are present and show whether a treatment is working. However, understanding the results of these tests can be difficult without medical training. That’s why it’s a good idea to share your results with your medical provider.

Discussing your results with your primary care provider or another medical provider ensures that the expert who knows your health best has the most up-to-date information. He or she can discuss what your results reveal about your health and disease risk, especially in the context of your personal and family health histories. Importantly, if your results show an issue of concern, your provider can recommend next steps. These may include undergoing additional testing or making healthy lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of disease.

Want to order your own lab tests? Learn about direct access lab testing at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinics.


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