Wellness

Can I Get Lab Tests Without a Doctor's Visit?

Alyssa Corso21 Sep 2021

It’s typically recommended to get blood work done once per year or when you get your yearly physical. However, in some cases, blood work should be taken more often. Some of the main reasons for increased blood work may be:

  • Experiencing unusual, persistent symptoms. Whether it’s abnormal weight gain or pain, your doctor may advise blood work.
  • You want to optimize your wellbeing. It’s essential to know the general levels of various blood components, such as HDL and LDL cholesterol. Understanding these components can help you choose fitness plans and diets to minimize unhealthy habits - sometimes, you may not even realize that certain habits are harmful to your body. Understanding your blood components can also help you eat foods that maximize certain nutrients to boost your health.
  • You want to reduce your risk of disease or complications. Regular blood tests can allow you to catch the warning signs of many diseases early. Many heart, lung, and kidney conditions can be diagnosed using blood tests.

Ordering a Lab Test Without a Doctor Visit

The benefits of scheduling a blood test without getting a referral from a doctor include:

  • Saves time- it can take several weeks to get an appointment with a doctor and then up to 2 weeks to get lab test results.
  • Can save money- the cost of seeing a provider and paying out of pocket for lab tests can cost up to $1,200.
  • Collect early data before an appointment with a physician or specialist to streamline the process.
  • Can determine if a follow-up appointment with a doctor is necessary at all.
  • Acquire a second opinion following a prior diagnosis.
  • Ensures privacy and confidentiality if the patient does not want their doctor or insurance provider to know about their lab testing.

When it comes to ordering a lab test without a doctor ordering the test for you, there are two options:

Get Mira - Healthcare you can afford.

Get doctor visits, lab tests, prescription, and more. Affordable copays. Available 35+ states.

Mira

With a Mira membership, you have access to Mira’s health panel and STD testing at any LabCorp location with a Mira membership you. For $99, you can get an STD panel, and for $49, you can get a health panel. Our health panel and STD panels include the following tests: 

Health Panel

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Urinalysis

STI Testing

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • HIV
  • Syphilis

Additionally, it takes only 30 seconds to book your test, and you get your results in 24 hours. Learn more here.

Direct Access Testing

Direct access testing (DAT) allows people to order their medical lab tests directly from a clinical laboratory without requiring a physician’s lab order. DAT is also known as patient-authorized testing or direct-to-consumer testing.

Patients who wish to have a lab test completed without a doctor’s referral need to conduct an online search for their desired test and locate a facility that offers that test in their area, so this is a lot of responsibility for the patient. 

The patient will usually pay for the lab test upfront, and the results will be communicated directly to them within a few days via email or phone call.

States permitted to perform DAT with no limitations: AK, AR, DC, DE, IN, IA, KS, LA, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, SD, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, TX, VA 

States permitted to perform DAT with some restrictions: AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, ME, MD, MA, NV, NJ, OR, NY

States where DAT is prohibited: AL, CT, GA, HI, ID, IA, KY, MI, NH, PA, RI, SC, TN, WY

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Routine Lab Tests

Some of the standard routine tests are:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Chemistry (basic metabolic) panel
  • Thyroid panel
  • Nutrient tests for levels of vital nutrients, such as iron or B vitamins

Some other tests that a doctor may advise are:

  • Enzyme markers if you’re at risk for cancer or other conditions like liver cirrhosis, stroke, or celiac disease
  • Sexually transmitted disease (STD) tests if you have multiple sexual partners,  a new partner, or are at high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

You can learn more about how much lab tests cost here.

If you don’t have insurance or have a high deductible plan, paying out of pocket for these lab tests can cost over $1,000. However, with a Mira membership, you can get a health panel and STD testing done for under $99. Learn more here.

How Long Lab Test Results Take

The time to receive lab test results depends on where you get the blood work done and the tests you get. Sometimes, the lab will give the results to the doctor so the doctor can analyze the results and relay them to the patient. Getting blood test results back can take anywhere between 24 hours and 2-3 weeks. 

If you can’t risk waiting for your lab test results, a membership with Mira provides lab testing with fast results.

What to Do About Abnormal Results

If you use Mira, there are patient education portals that could help you further understand your results. You can also take your results to a physician or your primary care provider. 

If using DAT, you may need to schedule a visit with a physician to understand your results further.