By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Service offers autonomy over patient health with a range of tests without a doctor’s order.
Innovation in technology is allowing for greater levels of patient empowerment, from telehealth options that allow for diagnosis, treatment, and management of conditions and diseases, to telepsychiatry, to digital health coaching, to diagnostics via smart devices. Now, diagnostic information services provider Quest Diagnostics has launched QuestDirect, a Patient-Initiated Testing service which will empower consumers who live in Colorado and Missouri to manage their health by ordering certain lab tests directly without a physician’s order. The expansion follows successful implementation of the program in Arizona and Oklahoma, Modern Healthcare reported.
The pilot program provides a variety of approximately 70 tests available via an easy online ordering form that can be downloaded from Quest Diagnostics’ website. Among the options are lipid panels, STI and HIV screenings, and diabetes risk and management panels, according to Drug Store News.
According to the company, Quest chose Missouri and Colorado because they are among the 17 states currently allowing consumers to order direct diagnostic tests without physician oversight or regulation. An additional 14 states allow consumer test orders with certain restrictions. The pilot is also a move to address the demand for greater cost transparency and wider options for consumers taking on a larger share of their own healthcare costs.
Cathy Doherty, senior vice president and group executive of clinical franchise solutions at Quest, told Modern Healthcare, “Really it’s the consumer that is demanding this kind of service. Market trends of healthcare continue to stress a need to be consumer-focused. We think they’re influencing and continue to influence a larger portion of laboratory spend.”
“In today’s consumer-driven health care environment, people want to play a more active role in managing their own health and wellness,” said Steve Rusckowski, Quest Diagnostics President and CEO. “Consumers expect the most accurate and up-to-date diagnostic information to proactively manage their health so that they can make educated decisions, and we are pleased to begin offering this service to residents of Colorado and Missouri.”