South Florida Hospital News
Sunday May 24, 2020
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September 2008 - Volume 5 - Issue 3

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LabSafe Offers Affordable, Confidential Screening Test Options for Patients

Offering direct-to-consumer laboratory testing for more than five years, LabSafe LLC has become the go-to place for affordable screening medical tests. With more than 7,000 partnerships drawing stations across the country, the service is convenient, confidential and can assist patients with screening and diagnostics while remaining under the care of their personal primary physicians.

"Our role will never be to take the place of the primary care physician," says Ed Estriplet Jr., CEO of LabSafe, a national company based in Hollywood, Fla. "We provide direct service to consumers that’s 40 to 60 percent less expensive than traditional laboratories, and this is especially useful for physicians whose patients may not have insurance. There’s no waiting for an appointment, blood draws are done by licensed professionals and all the information is strictly confidential."

Brian C. Lunn, founder of LabSafe, says that another benefit of consumer access to blood-test screenings is that patients can have a more proactive role in their healthcare. "If a patient suspects some sort of medical issue, such as a sexually transmitted disease concern, it’s possible to request a particular screening test online, then talk with one of our licensed nursing staff and have the test completed the same day."

LabSafe offers hundreds of types of screening, from cancer and diabetes to nutrition and infectious diseases, all of which are listed on the company’s website at www.LabSafe.com. The company also offers affordable testing programs for employers who require regular drug testing in the workplace. LabSafe also offers four free tests for cholesterol, comprehensive metabolic panel, complete blood count and liver function. The company provides a resource for employers who may not be able to provide health insurance for their workforce but still want to give them access to health care. Special packages can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

On average, screenings through LabSafe are at least 50 percent less expensive than other laboratories. Karen Friedel, LPN, cited one example of a patient with a chronic condition that required testing every six months; from a conventional lab, the tests cost almost $1,500, but LabSafe did the testing each time for about $150.

The secret to the lower costs is the amount of volume the company does each year and the strategic partnerships it has throughout the country with physicians, employers and other organizations. As a fully regulated medical laboratory testing provider, LabSafe follows all state and federal laws and is HIPAA and FDA compliant.

"Every test is confidential, so if a person suspects, for instance, that he or she has a sexually transmitted disease, they can contact LabSafe through our website or toll-free number, then are referred to one of our national drawing stations for testing without having to involve their family physician initially," he says. "We protect their privacy and confidentiality, but if they test positive, we refer them back to their own physician for treatment. It’s that peace of mind, that confidentiality that means so much, especially in these cases. If the patient were to go to their family physician directly, they may not feel as comfortable."

Here’s how it works. The consumer calls LabSafe’s toll-free number or accesses its internet site, then is put in touch with one of the licensed nurses who takes a brief medical history and discusses the testing and process with the patient to assure that they’re requesting the most appropriate test. LabSafe is staffed with licensed nurses – both LPNs and RNs – as well as licensed physicians who actually sign the requests for the blood draws. The staff nurse locates a drawing station that’s most convenient for the patient.

"On average, our draw stations are located less than five miles from the majority of the population," Estriplet says. "No appointment is necessary and patients are usually in and out in a matter of minutes on the same day they contact us."

The results are sent to LabSafe’s main office after being processed by the laboratory. Patients are contacted within 24 hours after the results are received by a LabSafe nurse. "We do not diagnose or treat," says Friedel. "We’re here to empower patients to have a more active role in their medical care."

Results are then either faxed or mailed to the patient, who can then take the results to their physician for review, diagnosis and recommended treatment protocols. LabSafe is implementing a confidential online results delivery and medical records management system within the next 30 days, offering the patient the option of purchasing this additional service.

"The patients retain their relationships with their primary-care physician, but they are able to participate more fully in their health care by having direct access to screenings," Estriplet says.

LabSafe has developed strategic partnerships all over the United States to give the company a broad reach to better serve consumers who may not be insured or who have coverage that may not include certain screening tests. "Sometimes, physicians are hesitant to order tests if the patient can’t afford them and there’s no firm indication of a problem," Estriplet says. "Having access to our testing at a much lower costs gives both the doctor and the patient incredible peace of mind."

Having licensed nurses on the front line for patient communication is a great benefit to LabSafe’s clients. They have seen first-hand the benefits of consumers having direct access to blood-test screenings.

"When you have an educated consumer and encourage them to take a proactive approach to their own health care, it’s such a positive situation," he says. "Whether they want to have their cholesterol checked regularly or be screened for prostate cancer or thyroid problems, we provide them the opportunity to initiate these tests without a doctors appointment, the long waits and the higher costs."

Estriplet is quick to point out that LabSafe welcomes associations with physicians, employers and other strategic partners. "Our role will never be to take the place of the primary physician," he says. "But we do realize that tests can be expensive and wait time can be unnerving, so we’re here to provide an affordable and timely alternative.

LabSafe can be reached at 1-888-333-LABS (5227) or visit the company’s website at www.labsafe.com. Ed Estriplet Jr. can be reached at 1-866-634-9966 or via e-mail at ed@labsafe.com.
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