Can I Order a Lab Test Without a Doctor’s Note?
Until now, seeing your doctor and getting lab tests ordered has been complicated and expensive, even for simple things like a sore throat or a general health and wellness exam. Healthcare needs to be revolutionized, particularly surrounding lab testing. To give everyone more access to lab testing (thus becoming more involved in their own healthcare), the state of Washington has made it legal for anyone to order bloodwork without a doctor’s note. This is known as direct-to-consumer (DTC), patient-ordered or self-authorized lab testing.
Typical Process for Ordering Lab Bloodwork
If you have a health issue arise, your main concern is finding out what it is and how you can go about treating the potential medical condition. The last thing you want to contend with is waiting for days, or even weeks, to meet with your doctor so she can examine you and then – after being peppered with routine questions – she finally gets around to writing a referral for bloodwork. And you often will have to wait for days to have your blood drawn after your initial doctor’s visit. What’s more, the lab that your doctor’s office is affiliated with may not be located in your community.
All you want to do is have your blood drawn so you can find out as soon as possible what medical condition or health ailment you might have. After all, lab tests offer a snapshot of your overall health and can shed light on the potential health issues that might otherwise go undetected. Time could be of the essence. v
What is Direct-to-consumer (DTC) Testing?
Fortunately for residents in Washington State, you have a direct pathway to getting bloodwork done without a doctor’s note. Direct-to-consumer, or DTC, testing makes it possible for you to order your own blood tests directly from a clinical laboratory. It is not necessary to obtain a doctor’s lab order. DTC means you enjoy patient-ordered testing in Washington State.
Tomorrow’s Health provides this DTC type of testing. Come into our laboratory, order and get drawn for lab tests on the same day. Once the lab tests have been completed, the lab will send the results directly to you. These results can also be forwarded to your doctor upon request.
Advantages of Direct-To-Consumer Testing
In the medical world, time is of the essence, and ordering your own blood test without a doctor’s note will almost always save you a lot of time. DTC testing allows you to bypass the wait times at the doctor’s office and communicate directly with a clinical laboratory.
You, as the patient, can find out the results of your lab test typically within a few days from when the bloodwork was taken.
From there, you can schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your bloodwork results.
One of the significant benefits of DTC testing is lower pricing. Even though you are not going through insurance for the bloodwork, ordering bloodwork without a doctor’s note is usually less expensive than if you obtain a note from a physician.
Because most insurance plans typically have patients pay high deductibles, you end up paying full price for both the visit with your doctor and the labs that are ordered. By eliminating the doctor visit, you enjoy the financial benefit of DTC lab tests being less expensive than lab tests that are ordered by your physician.
In fact, in most instances, DTC testing costs less than the co-pay when you use insurance. In general, ordering your own blood labs is significantly more affordable than having to obtain your doctor’s approval for a lab referral.
If you’re concerned about your privacy when it comes to medical test results, you will find it to your advantage to do DTC lab tests, as they are completely confidential. The lab results are available directly to the consumer. The clinical laboratory will not release or share your test results with anyone unless you request the release of information.
This benefit is especially appreciated as many people often do not want their doctor or insurance company to be aware of what specific medical tests they are taking. DTC testing enables you to share or not share your lab results at your own discretion.
Schedule Your Blood Test at Tomorrow’s Health
We invite you to schedule an appointment today with Tomorrow’s Health to have your blood labs done in a timely fashion while respecting your right to privacy.
Tomorrow’s Health is accredited by the state of Washington’s CLIA program and will provide accurate and timely results for your blood tests. We’re excited to bring this critical testing to the local community and bring personalized medicine closer to patients and doctors.