Why Healthcare Experts Critical of Direct Access Testing Advise Clinical Laboratories to Take Precautions
Test ordering and results interpretation can confuse the public says Dartmouth Institute, which is why some clinical laboratories limit the types of lab tests that people can request
Giving consumers direct access to medical laboratory testing continues to be a subject of some controversy. One factor in this debate is Theranos, which brought much attention to direct access testing, followed by extensive news coverage in recent months of its problems with reporting accurate clinical laboratory test results.
Concerns about allowing consumers to have direct access to lab testing were the subject of a recent National Public Radio (NPR) Shots Health News story. Several medical experts were interviewed and described why they had concerns about direct access testing (DAT).
One such expert is H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Community and Family Medicine at The Dartmouth Institute (Dartmouth). According to Welch, DAT could contribute to over-diagnosis and give people an inaccurate impression of what good health actually means. (more…)