The Ins and Outs of Private Lab Work – The Preferred Best Project

The Ins and Outs of Private Lab Work – The Preferred Best Project

If you are considering , or just curious about getting private lab work done, you have landed in a good place. This article will detail how the Preferred Best Project will be using private lab work to supplement physician visits. 

​What is Private Lab Work?

​Private lab work is having blood (or urine) tested at a national lab company like Quest diagnostics without having the test ordered  by a doctor. The ordering process is done by the consumer online through private companies who essentially act as brokers. The two most prominent companies offering this service are Direct Labs and Walk In Labs

What do Private labs Test For? ​

​The levels reported on a private lab test are the same ones ordered by doctors. In fact, most of the work a lab does is on behalf of doctors. The Preferred Best Project is currently recording several test levels and analyzing how changes will affect life insurance underwriting.The private lab tests test being performed are:

  • Lipids - HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol, Ratio, Triglycerides
  • Blood Sugar- Fasting blood Sugar, HbA1C
  • Liver Funstion Test- AST, ALT, GGT
  • Kidney Function Test- Creatine, BUN

 Private lab work can be much more extensive. The aforementioned list is simply the levels being tested for the project.

Don't You Need a Doctor to Interpret The Test Results?

Not necessarily. Remember these tests are meant to be supplementary to your annual physical.  You should take the time to talk with your physician about the results of the physical, including the blood panel.

Additionally, the scores on the specific tests you order will come with a reference range and the score will be highlighted in red if your score is outside the normal range. You should contact your physician if your results are materially different than the results that came with your annual physical.

Why Not Simply Have My Doctor Do The Additional Tests? 

Due to time and financial constraints, having a physician visit to order these tests is impracticable for many people.  In my experience, the blood draw at a lab takes less time than going to the doctors office. This may not be the case everywhere, so call ahead and see if the lab is busy.  

The primary reason that it's impracticable to use a doctor for supplementary testing is money. The doctors time is not free and since insurance companies will not pay for the tests unless deemed medically necessary, you will be stuck paying for both the office visit and the test. 

Adding insult to injury, note that the same test cost three times as much when it is ordered from your doctor. This is as much the result of insurance reimbursement games as it is a profit motivated doctor. Nonetheless, it is you, the consumer / patient who is on the hook for the bill. At private labs you pay a reasonable bill for the tests and that's it, no insurance or doctors bills involved.

How Do You Get the Results From Private Lab Work?​

The results come the same way you ordered the tests , through the internet. When you order, you will set up an account with a secure password, 24-48 hours following the tests you will receive an email telling you that your results are posted. simply log in using your account credential and see your results. ​

​Private lab Work: Conclusion

Private lab work is an affordable way to keep tabs on your changing health without seeing a doctor more often than is feasible.  However, private lab work is not a substitute for seeing a doctor when required. Anytime that you have private lab work done and the test results fall outside the reference range you should contact your physician. If you are interested in following along with the lab results of the Preferred Best Project, we'd love to have you.

Thank you for choosing the Preferred Best Project blog to research private lab testing. Should you have any questions about private lab work or life insurance we'd love to hear from you. Simply give us a call or drop an email

James Tobin, CFP
 

Jim Tobin is the owner of Life Insurance Help Desk, a Fairfield County, CT. life insurance agency. You can find him on Google + and Facebook. Over the past 10 years, Jim has used his CFP-financial planning designation to help individuals with their life insurance needs. In addition to working with life insurance clients, Jim teaches ESL classes in his spare time. He resides with his beautiful wife Nicole and the 3 cats that rule their lives..