What are the Benefits of DTC (Patient-Ordered Blood Testing?
Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) blood testing is growing exponentially in popularity among consumers. As people choose to take much greater control of their own health care, Direct-to-Consumer blood testing fits in well with the do-it-yourself mentality people have toward the medical services delivery system.
Consumers, in general, are wanting to circumvent the medical bureaucracy – including obtaining permission from their primary care doctors for a blood test – and be in charge of their own personal health. As a result, the market for Direct-to Consumer testing has increased and is anticipating incredible growth in the next few years.
What is Direct-to-Consumer Blood Testing?
Direct access means the removal of the physician referral mandated by state law to access blood tests. Instead of the conventional process that involves a clinician ordering a test for a patient, individuals in certain states – including here in Washington State – are able to purchase a lab test directly from a digital health or laboratory company online. Consumers pay for the blood test upfront.
The global Covid-19 pandemic, which began back in March of 2020, has accelerated the acceptance of virtual care. More recently, as the demand for personal Covid testing has grown, at-home testing has become the norm in many people’s lives with the availability of Covid test kits.
Now-a-days, consumers have access to many testing kits for general wellness, men’s and women’s health, food or allergen sensitivities, and STIs. In Washington State, direct-to-consumer blood testing is completely legal and open to anyone with no restrictions.
Benefits of Direct-to-Consumer Blood Testing
Consumers greatly value the benefits of DTC testing as it allows them to have direct access to blood labs. People enjoy a more efficient medical services delivery system and that includes receiving test results much more quickly and with their privacy intact.
Here are some of the benefits of Direct-to-Consumer Blood Testing:
Without the availability of Direct-to-Consumer blood testing, patients must initially schedule an appointment with their primary care physician. Once there, the patient obtains a referral for the blood test, and then they may wait for days until they get into the blood lab, depending on how close it is located to the patient. Then the blood lab sends the lab results to the patient’s primary care provider. They must schedule another appointment with their doctor to discuss the blood test results.
This blood-testing process can take many days or even weeks to complete. By taking away the role of the primary care doctor, it significantly reduces the waiting times, and makes the process much more convenient for consumers.
The vast majority of DTC collection facilities do not require an appointment. So, consumers can make an appointment with the blood lab directly and on their preferred time schedule, when it is convenient for them.
There are some tests that consumers would prefer their primary care physician did not know about. For example, STI’s and drug screenings are quite sensitive and can make consumers uneasy.
DTC testing gives the consumer the privacy that she might not enjoy with the traditional process for obtaining blood tests. Patients receive results right away and without the awareness of their primary care provider. Also prevented from knowing the results are insurance companies, making the whole blood-test process more confidential.
Although DTC tests are usually not covered by insurance, they are typically cheaper to acquire than the copay charged at their primary care doctor’s office. What’s more, consumers can choose which DTC blood testing lab they want to visit, considering cost as a relevant factor. This way is a more helpful option than having to pay a co-pay amount that the insurance company deems appropriate.
When consumers choose their own DTC lab, they will search for the best price so they can save as much money as possible.
With the availability of direct-to-consumer blood testing, consumers take control of much of their own health care. Whether they want a lipid panel to find out about their cholesterol levels or an A1C test to determine their sugar levels, consumers obtain more information and directly, without delays created by the involvement of more doctors.
Having their blood test results quickly and easily empowers consumers to make healthy lifestyle changes and encourages them to continue to be pro-active with their health.
For people who reside in rural or remote communities, it can be very challenging to receive the necessary health services. They may have to travel many miles for a clinical test and then return to learn and talk about the results with their doctor.
Direct-to-consumer blood tests are accessible to everyone, regardless of where people are located. Consumers can search for the direct-to-consumer blood testing lab that is closest to where they live.
Direct-to-consumer testing is also beneficial when it comes to non-health-related tests. The popularity of DNA test kits has soared tremendously during the past few years, as more people want to find out about their ancestry.
Additionally, consumers may want to find out about paternity through a blood test and they require a confidential answer. Consumers appreciate having the option of direct-to-consumer blood testing when it involves sensitive matters.
Direct-to-Consumer Tests Offered at Tomorrow’s Health
Among the DTC lab tests that we offer at Tomorrow’s Health are:
Covid-19 Individual Test
COVID-19 Antibody (IgM/IgG)
COVID-19 Genome Sequence (Variant Detection)
General Health and Wellness Panel
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) (CPT 80053)
Complete Blood Count (CBC) w/ Differential
And we offer many other types of important blood tests at Tomorrow’s Health, as well. If you need a blood test, then we invite you to schedule an appointment today with Tomorrow’s Health so you can enjoy the many benefits of personalized lab testing.
Tomorrow’s Health Provides Cutting Edge Laboratory Testing Capabilities
Tomorrow’s Health was started in 2013 to fill a need in the Tri-Cities for blood testing, Covid-19 testing, and genome testing. We are very excited to bring this advanced technology to the local area, providing superior diagnostic lab testing that will aid our local healthcare providers in providing life-saving care to all members of our great community!
In response to the current Covid-19 pandemic that is gripping the entire world, Tomorrow’s Health is responding to the call for increased lab capacity by providing Covid-19, Influenza A/B and comprehensive respiratory pathogen testing using state-of-the-art technology.
In company with Covid-19 testing, we offer a wide menu of laboratory tests, including thyroid function, reproductive health, comprehensive metabolic panel, complete blood count, lipid panel, hormone panel, various cancer screenings, and much more!
At Tomorrow’s Health, you don’t need to obtain a referral for blood work. We will also provide you testing at an affordable price.
The revolution is upon us – let’s carry it out together!