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Why can't we get our lab test results directly from the lab?
Old 03-13-2012, 02:36 PM   #1
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Why can't we get our lab test results directly from the lab?

I had my blood test done at Quest Diagnotics on Friday but they won't release the result to me. They will only send it to my doctor? I have always wondered why?

Kaiser Permanente on the other hand will let you check your results on their website as soon as it is available regardless of who ordered the test?
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:42 PM   #2
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The forms our doctors use to order LabCorp work have a box we can fill out (name, address) and a copy of test results are sent to us. No one ever pointed it out, though. We had to ask.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:03 PM   #3
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The Dr is able to make on the form to send a copy of results to the patient. Well at least my Drs have always been able to.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:11 PM   #4
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Our (retirement) health insurance requires us to use Health Network Laboratories

No problem in asking that a copy of the results be sent to our home when the BT is done, and we get the results in 2-3 days.

BTW, since we go to a regional healthcare provider, the various doctors that I/DW can share results on-line, if neeed be.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disappointed
I had my blood test done at Quest Diagnotics on Friday but they won't release the result to me. They will only send it to my doctor? I have always wondered why?
So that you won't misinterpret the results and freak out!
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
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So that you won't misinterpret the results and freak out!
For a chronic condition and under long-term care, I would (and do) want the results and don't necessarily need my PCP to "interpert" what the test results mean.

Anyway, for an anal person like me (who has BT records - spreadsheets) going back for more than a decade, I can track and see long/short term trends. Something my PCP dosen't have time (nor the desire) to do and I can tell her/him any personal situation that may have affected test results.

Depending on the condition (mine is T2), there is - or should be a "partnership" of care between yourself and your PCP. Anybody who has T1/2 will tell you that the person who can help you the most over the long term is yourself. Having current tools (e.g. BT's) help enforce that concept.

You're going to (hopefully) find out the results when you go to your doctor and you will probably "interpert" them on your own anyway (via the net). Why not have some information going into the appointment?
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:52 PM   #7
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Isn't Quest an independent lab? I bet it is just a combination of liability avoidance for one, and your md is the ordering party, not you. Like any other service deliverable, it goes to who contracted for it.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
The Dr is able to make on the form to send a copy of results to the patient. Well at least my Drs have always been able to.
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Originally Posted by bld999 View Post
Isn't Quest an independent lab? I bet it is just a combination of liability avoidance for one, and your md is the ordering party, not you. Like any other service deliverable, it goes to who contracted for it.
Quest is an independant lab as far as I know. They did the testing for the 2 different Doc's I've seen in the last 2 years. I just had a physical and a copy of my lab results came to me from Quest, so I guess my GP checked a box to have them send me a copy. With my urologist check-up I had to go the Quest lab a couple of days before, and when I went to the see the Doc in his office he told me what the PSA result was.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:53 PM   #9
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It would be nice if Quest sent me my routine blood test results directly . Instead, I just ask my doctor's clerical workers if I can have a Xerox of the latest Quest results. They are happy to oblige, and then I am on my way. No big deal (in my case).
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:05 PM   #10
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My daughter logs onto the Quest website and gets her test results. It must be something the doctor sets up with Quest. As with the others, my doctor (nurse practioner) has always been agreeable to mailing me copies of the lab results.

On a side note. We ran into an unfortunate situation. The local hospital is in our medical plan and said they could do our lab tests as cheaply as Quest, which is an hour drive each way. So we had our annual wellness exams done there. Pin me to the wall and throw darts - they were 5 times more expensive. Most of the tests were covered under wellness; however, the balance due on the remaining tests would have been close to the total of having the labs done at Quest. Plus, it seems the pathologist at the hospital has standing orders to tack on a fee for any and all tests run at the hospital whether or not he had any involvement. I don't think a CBC requires a pathologist.

This was a painful lesson to learn!
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bld999
Isn't Quest an independent lab? I bet it is just a combination of liability avoidance for one, and your md is the ordering party, not you. Like any other service deliverable, it goes to who contracted for it.
While it was my doctor who ordered the tests, I am the one who is paying for it.

Why can't there be a box to fill in my email address and have the results automatically forwarded to me? Why invovles another human being making a xerox copy? Its not like someone else can benefit from my test results that i really need to hide them.

As stated, Kaiser Permanente has all of your records online, it allows members to transact everything online including communicating and making appointment with your doctor online.

Time to modernize the healthcare system?
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:25 PM   #12
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I had tests done at Quest last week, and I asked this question. I was told that they had an IPhone App that would allow me to see my results. I think it was called Gazelle. Since I have an Android phone, I was told I was out of luck.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:07 PM   #13
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In my state, the law requires that the lab release the results only to the doctor unless the doctor puts the appropriate "release to patient" language on the lab order. When the law was passed, I'll bet it was argued that this is so you don't freak out when you get the results without an MD to properly interpret them. But I believe that a substantial unspoken motive probably was to encourage more office visits ($$) for the doctors.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #14
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It can be a little tricky. Usually I encourage patients to receive a copy of their results but with 24-test panels and all the jargon there is almost always some "abnormality" which is of no significance in context, or perhaps some important test which is in the normal range but "shouldn't be" due to extenuating circumstances (e.g. a coagulation test which has always been low normal but is now high normal).

It is useful to remind patients to call me to discuss any questionable results rather than freak out as Al says.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagniappe
I had tests done at Quest last week, and I asked this question. I was told that they had an IPhone App that would allow me to see my results. I think it was called Gazelle. Since I have an Android phone, I was told I was out of luck.
Thanks, just downloaded the app. You still need a permission or an authorization from your doctor to access the results. Your doctor must participate in the online program and give you a PIN or access code. I believe my doctor still uses fax to obtain lab results.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:35 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
It can be a little tricky. Usually I encourage patients to receive a copy of their results but with 24-test panels and all the jargon there is almost always some "abnormality" which is of no significance in context, or perhaps some important test which is in the normal range but "shouldn't be" due to extenuating circumstances (e.g. a coagulation test which has always been low normal but is now high normal).

It is useful to remind patients to call me to discuss any questionable results rather than freak out as Al says.
Hi Rich, there was no option for me to get the results. I have to get a copy from my doctor. Why not give us an option? Some may want to see the results prior to meeting with the doctor for a more productive visit.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:53 PM   #17
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I think doctors are well aware of the fact that s**t happens and it gives them time to see if the results make sense before releasing them to the patient. I don't have a problem waiting for the doctor to call me the next day. He explains things and answers any questions that I might have.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:06 AM   #18
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For a chronic condition and under long-term care, I would (and do) want the results and don't necessarily need my PCP to "interpert" what the test results mean.
Absolutely. Some PCPs (I call them WD-40 docs) or even so called specialists might not even know more or better than you do. The worst offenders are those doctors who would not release your lab report until you pay them another visit so that they can bill the insurance again. To justify the claim, they will put you through another round of ceremonial HB and BP readings.

With the aid from a Merck manual and some internet search in now days, a lot of basic blood lab test benchmarks can be easily referenced and interpreted. No freaking out, unless it's the situation in South Park internet episode, WebMD is not available because the internet is gone.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:26 AM   #19
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................... The worst offenders are those doctors who would not release your lab report until you pay them another visit so that they can bill the insurance again.............
My (former) dermatologist plays this game. There is a sign over the check-in window advising patients that no lab results will be released without a second appointment for discussion. I refused and demanded over the phone that my results be mailed to me. I was charged $75 for the physician to "review the results", even though I'd been seen by a PA and the results were either 1) cancerous mole or 2) benign.

This was right out of my pocket, as I have a high deductible policy.

Scammer.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:34 AM   #20
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My Doc will give me a blood order before my physical, so no need to come back. If in fact I go in for a chat Ms G. is there too asking all those pesky women questions. Kinda of a double dip with my co-pay.
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