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Taking control: Lab testing you order for yourself

(Philadelphia, PA) There is a growing new front in the healthcare revolution. Now, in more than 30 states, patients can get lab tests performed directly at laboratories. These services, part of the phenomenon known as Direct Access Testing (DAT), require only that the consumer pay up-front, and be able to receive their test results directly.

Surprisingly, there are no federal regulations that impede this growing trend of consumer ordering and purchasing of lab tests. Because no federal programs funds' are involved, the regulatory initiatives are left to the states. Currently, more than 30 states* allow DAT, with regulations varying widely. In Washington state, for example, there are no restrictions; New York and California have recently relaxed their regulations; yet, Idaho prohibits DAT altogether. Despite the "hands-off" policy of the federal government, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC), affiliated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is starting to evaluate a possible role in DAT.

Direct Access Testing: A Retail Business

What is evident to the federal government, states, and medical community is that DAT changes the basic relationship of how patients receive their services from commercial laboratories. Heretofore, these laboratories have operated on a business-to-business level with hospitals, clinics and physician clients. With DAT, laboratories do business directly with customers. DAT is a retail business.

Results Direct: An Example of Responding to the 21st Century Patient Consequently, the leadership of Results (http://www.results-direct.com), a consumer-direct laboratory testing venture in Spokane, WA, established a task team to implement a wide range of programs, including a survey that would quantify interest in DAT, characterize target customers, identify key features for the DAT program, and create an implementation and m
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Contact: Donna Krupa
djkrupa1@aol.com
703-527-7357
American Association for Clinical Chemistry
21-Jul-2003


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