Take control of your health and check out this great service that lets you order lab tests at affordable prices.
Last week on the blog, rather than sharing a recipe, I wrote a post about the importance of monitoring your blood pressure. This week I’m bringing you another post about taking control of your health but in a different sense. This week’s post is about knowing your numbers- your lab numbers, that is.
Today I’m reviewing a novel service called Health Testing Centers. It’s a lab testing service that makes it possible for people to order their own lab tests at affordable prices without the need to see their doctor or use their insurance. Now, in an ideal world, all of us would be going to our primary care doctors on a regular basis for routine check ups, lab work and screening tests. But for a lot of reasons, this doesn’t always happen. Whether it’s due to lack of time, lack of money/resources, issues with insurance, fear or embarrassment, the truth is that people often don’t go to the doctor when they should. This is something I deal with on an everyday basis as an Emergency Room physician. Of course, we see many emergencies in the ER. But most people would be surprised to hear that the majority of the patients we see are not there for emergent issues. When these patients come to the ER for routine issues, I usually ask them why they came to the ER instead of going to their doctor. Most of the time the answer is that they either don’t have a doctor, they don’t have insurance, they couldn’t get an appointment, or they wanted to get results right away.
When I first heard about Health Testing Centers, a company that allows you to order lab tests yourself, I had mixed feelings. As a physician, it seemed like an unusual concept to be able to order these tests yourself. But then I realized that there are many situations when this type of service would be very useful. For example, this would come in handy for patients who simply don’t have a primary care doctor or for those who don’t have insurance but still want to keep on top of their health. It would also be useful for people who are on specific diets and want to check for things like nutritional deficiencies. Or for people who may be hesitant or embarrassed to talk to their doctors about things like testing for sexually transmitted diseases. Another potential use could be to use the service to get your lab work done before your next doctor’s appointment so that you can review the results together. We see a lot of patients who get blood work done with their doctor but then no one ever follows up on the results with them.
So how does it work? It’s quite simple really. You go to the Health Testing Centers website and look at the different test categories. They have basic wellness packages that include the most commonly ordered labs like complete blood count, electrolytes and cholesterol. They also have more specialized labs including things like hormone levels, cardiac tests, cancer screening, and heavy metal levels. You order the package you want and pay for it. Then you go to a local LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics location to have your blood drawn. A few days later, you’ll get an email that your results are ready. Simply sign in to the website and get your results. That’s it!
I decided to test out the service and ordered the Women’s Basic Health Package ($209), which includes the following: Comprehensive Metabolic Panel 14, Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential, Urinalysis (UA), Lipid Panel, Hemoglobin A1C (HgbA1c), Thyroid-Stimulating Horomone (TSH), Vitamin D, 25 Hydroxy, and Thyroid Profile. I had a low Vitamin D level on my last set of lab work that was done with my doctor so I wanted to recheck it. Ordering the tests online was super easy and then I scheduled an appointment at my local Quest Diagnostics. When I arrived, I showed them my lab requisition form and then all I had to do was get my blood drawn. Easy! Four days later, I got an email from Health Testing Centers that my results were ready. I logged onto the site and was able to see all of my results. I actually found that once again my Vitamin D level was low.
So in conclusion, I had a very positive experience with Health Testing Centers and feel that it could definitely be a useful service in many different clinical scenarios. They are not trying to replace anyone’s physician, but they do feel strongly that access to data from blood testing should be easy and accessible for every patient. That fits in with my philosophy about taking control of your health. I found the service to be fast, convenient, affordable, and accurate. I was even able to confirm my Vitamin D deficiency, which I will be bringing up with my doctor at my next appointment.
If you want to try out Health Testing Centers and take control of your health, check out their site HERE
Be sure to take advantage of my discount code: foodie25, which will save you 25% on your lab testing order!