Direct access lab testing: Friend or foe?

In a world with rising health care costs, many are turning to alternative forms of care, which may or many not provide the benefits that patients are expecting.  One such alternative, direct access lab testing, is a means for patients to receive a variety of laboratory tests of their choosing without consulting with a physician.  While a proposed benefit is the ability to take more control over your health, other negative outcomes ensue: unnecessary tests contribute to increased overall health care spending, false positive and false negative results are difficult to interpret when tests are conducted in isolation, and individuals receiving poor results do not have the associated physician emotional and informational support that would be provided in a physician’s office.

For more information about direct access lab testing, listen or read this story by NPR.

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