Patients' Frequently Asked Questions



About Diagnos-Techs

Q. How long has Diagnos-Techs been in business?

A: Diagnos-Techs was founded in 1987 and introduced the Adrenal Stress Index Panel in 1989.


Q. How is Diagnos-Techs accredited?

A: Diagnos-Techs is accredited by the Joint Commission and the Washington State Department of Health.

Saliva Testing

Q. Why is saliva hormone better than testing blood or serum testing?

A: It is a simple method for collecting biologic samples. It has the advantage of multiple noninvasive collections. The free, rather than protein-bound, hormone is considered to be the active component; the hormone levels in saliva will reflect the free hormone concentration. Therefore, saliva levels are a more accurate reflection of the active hormone in the body.


Q. Why is it important to test hormone levels?

A: Hormone production is the natural method by which endocrine glands control much of the body’s function. Their function may be attenuated or increased disturbing the body’s balance and function. Appropriate testing of hormone levels can identify these disturbances and provide bases for remedy.


Q. Do I need to test?

A: There are a variety of symptoms and conditions that may indicate that you need a stool, saliva, or urine test. Your doctor is the best person to determine which tests are appropriate for you based on your symptoms and health history.


Diagnos-Techs Policies

Q. Does Diagnos-Techs work directly with patients?

A: Diagnos-Techs primarily works with licensed health care providers. Test kits must be provided by a licensed healthcare provider and patient results are released to providers directly. Patients can contact Diagnos-Techs regarding questions about sample collections and/or insurance. If you are looking for a healthcare provider who offers our tests, please check our online provider directory.


Q. Does Diagnos-Techs work with customers outside of the USA?

A: Yes, Diagnos-Techs has healthcare providers around the world who use us in restoring the health of their patients and promoting overall wellness.


Q. How do I test through Diagnos-Techs?

A: A licensed healthcare provider needs to order the appropriate test kit through Diagnos-Techs. Patients collect samples following the instructions on the back of the test form supplied in each kit, and then mail the test kit back to the laboratory to be processed. Results will be reported to the ordering provider upon completion.


Test Results

Q. How do I get my test results?

A: Test results are reported directly to the ordering health care provider via mail, fax, or email, depending on how the provider wishes to have results delivered. Patients may obtain a copy of their results directly from the ordering healthcare provider.


Q. How many days does it take the lab to run my test?

A: Most of our tests take five to seven business days with the exception of the Female Hormone Panels (FHP and eFHP), Gastrointestinal Health Panels (GI-1 and GI-02), Fungal/Yeast Culture (CS1) and Bacteria/Microflora culture (GP3) which take seven to ten business days.


Interactions with Testing

Q. I have not been diagnosed with Gingivitis but sometimes I have bleeding gums. Should I fill in the circle?

A: Yes.


Q. If I am taking a certain medication or supplement how long will I have to be off of it prior to testing?

A: It is up to your provider whether you discontinue or continue taking a medication or supplement prior to or during testing. Your provider will need to interpret the results with discretion, and (s)he has the option of speaking to Medical Support to discuss the different options


Q. Should I stop using hormone replacement before the test?

A: Discuss with your provider.


Q. How does taking birth control pills affect the test?

A: Birth control pills can have a significant influence on hormone results. Discuss with your ordering provider.


Q. Does brewer’s yeast refer to the yeast found in bread?

A: No, brewer’s yeast is a supplement; eating bread will not interfere with testing.


Q. Does alcohol affect test results?

A: No more than one serving of alcohol should be consumed when collecting an Adrenal Stress Index Panel (ASI).


Q. What is meant by Botanicals?

A: Botanicals are plant origin supplements.


Q. Will lipstick have an adverse effect on the results?

A: Do not wear lipstick prior to saliva collection as it could affect the results.


Q. Does intercourse influence test results for sex hormone tests or Adrenal tests?

A: Yes, intercourse will have an effect on sex hormones and adrenal hormones for 6-8 hours.


Q. If a patient neglects to rinse his/her mouth prior to collecting saliva, must (s)he recollect?

A: If you see blood or food contamination in the sample, recollect.


Q. What is meant by “do not suck too strongly”?

A: Attempting to aggressively express saliva can cause blood contamination in the saliva.


Q. What if I brushed my teeth 30-60 minutes before collection?

A: You will need to recollect.


Adrenal Stress Index Panel (ASI)

Q. I ate one of the foods to be avoided that are listed on the back of the requisition form (chocolate, onions, garlic, or cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli) do I need to recollect my samples?

A: If the amount you ate on the day of collection is less than 1 tablespoon, you can continue collecting; if it was more, you will need to recollect all samples on another day.


Q. What constitutes a regular wake (day)/sleep (night) schedule?

A: If a patient is normally awake during the day and asleep during the night this is considered a regular wake/sleep schedule. If, for instance, you work graveyard shift you would fill in the circle on the form.


Q. Do I need to start my four cortisol sample collection with a particular vial?

A: Yes, begin with the morning vial and collect all four samples on the same day. Each vial has a label indicating collection time.


Q. If I collect my samples outside of the timeframes on the form, will it affect the results?

A: You can collect your samples for up to 1 hour before or after the specified times. If you are more than an hour outside the collection times listed, you will need to recollect all your samples on a different day.


Q. What if I mix up my collections by accident on the Adrenal Stress Index Panel (ASI)?

A: Change the labels on the saliva vials to match your collections.


Q. How do I recollect vials that originally had cotton in them?

A: Discard the cotton, rinse the vials with cool water, air dry the vials, and collect directly into the blue capped vials, filling them ½ to ¾ full with liquid saliva.


Reproductive/Sex Hormone Test

Q. How do I collect 11 samples for a Female Hormone Panel (FHP or eFHP) when my period is only 5 days?

A: The FHP is collected over a patient’s full menstrual cycle, from the first day of full flow of one period through the first day of full flow of the next period. Collect samples according to the schedule on the back of the test form.


Q. What do I do if my menstrual cycle is less than 28 days?

A: Collect the last vial on the first day of full flow of your next period submitting a minimum of 8 vials.


Q. How accurate will my expanded or regular Female Hormone Panel (eFHP and FHP) be if I miss a few vials?

A: We are able to run an eFHP or FHP from as few as eight vials; however, it is preferable to collect the maximum number of vials, up to 11, if possible.


Q. Can I re-use the green capped F/L pour off vial?

A: No, you will need to contact your provider for a new test kit.


Q. Can the Post Menopausal Hormone Panel (PostM) be collected over several hours or does it all need to be collected at one time?

A: The PostM is not time dependent. You may collect throughout the day as long as the collection requirements such as rinse with cold water and do not eat 30-60 minutes prior to collection, etc, are met.


GI Health Panels & the Food Intolerance Panel (FIP)

Q. Should probiotics and amino acids be avoided prior to taking a GI test?

A: Probiotics are fine to continue to take while doing GI testing. Less than 10 grams per day of amino acids in the pure form are ok.


Q. Can you recommend anything to help produce stool samples in cases of constipation?

A: To produce a stool sample the patient may take products containing cascara, senna or docusates as the main ingredient.


Q. Which parasites are reported as part of the GP2 ova and parasite test?

A: The list is long but all parasites that are visible under the microscope are reported as part of GP2.


Q. When collecting for the Food Intolerance Panel (FIP), is it important to have consumed these foods prior to collection, if so, how long before and what quantity?

A: Unless your provider tells you otherwise, continue to eat these foods normally for a week to 10 days before testing. For specific instructions, please contact your provider.


Collecting a Sample

Q. How does one collect a saliva specimen from a young child?

A: Use a clean bulb syringe or medicine dropper to suction saliva from the child’s mouth.


Q. Where can I find test collection instructions?

A: Collection instructions are on the back side of the test form inside each test kit box. If you are missing paperwork, please contact your provider for a new form. If the instructions are missing from the back of the paperwork, please call Diagnos-Techs at (800) 878-3787 and ask to speak with Client Services.


Q. What does “avoid back to back collection” mean on the test form?

A: If you are collecting saliva for several test panels, avoid collecting more than one saliva vial in the same hour.


Q. What can I do to produce more saliva?

A: Chew Para-film or paraffin wax, available at most pharmacies.


Q. Exactly how much saliva is needed to fill the vial ¾ full?

A: 4 mL.


Q. What is meant by ‘Last meal or snack”?

A: This refers to the last time food or beverages were consumed prior to each collection.


Q. What is the best time to do collections for tests that are not time dependent, such as the Postmenopausal Hormone Panel™ (PostM™), Male Hormone Panel™ (MHP™), and the Female Hormone Panels (FHP™ and eFHP™)?

A: If it is not time dependent, collection can be done any time throughout the day, just not within an hour of waking, eating, or brushing your teeth. For the Female Hormone Panels (FHP and eFHP), make sure that the collection times are consistent. Follow up tests should be completed around the same time of day as the initial test.


Sample Storage

Q. How long can samples be stored prior to mailing?

A: Stool and saliva samples can be kept in refrigeration for up to 3-5 days before being mailed.


Q. Are you supposed to refrigerate samples?

A: Yes, except for hormone tests that are collected over multiple days. This includes the FHP, eFHP, PeriM, and ePeriM. Samples for these tests should be frozen.


Shipping Tests to Diagnos-Techs

Q. Who pays for return shipping?

A: Diagnos-Techs offers FREE return shipping on all individually returned kits throughout the United States. Depending on your location the transit time will be between 1 and 3 days. If you want to guarantee next day or two day service, you can pay for expedited service on your package by clicking here.

Return shipping from international patients remains the responsibility of the sender.


Q. What if we want to guarantee quicker shipping to the Lab?

A. Diagnos-Techs offers FREE domestic prepaid shipping which is considered timely from all states when sampling instructions have been completed correctly. Overnight delivery by private courier with applicable charges incurred is the choice of the sender (provider or patient) if considered necessary.

International shipping instructions are unchanged and provider/patient charges still apply.


Q. It is a long weekend, how do I send my samples?

A: It is recommended that tests are completed well in advance or after a public holiday. Except for postal/UPS holidays, domestic and international samples are received at our laboratory address Monday through Friday. Our shipping address is:

Diagnos-Techs, Inc,
Laboratory, Building J-106
6620 South 192nd Place
Kent, WA   98032  USA

International samples should also be sent to the same laboratory address shown above.

For a list of US holidays, please click here.


Q. If I send the test in towards the end of the week, is that all right?

A: Yes, for domestic deliveries. International deliveries should follow the instructions on the requisition form.


Q. Can I send the samples by regular mail?

A: We do not recommend sending samples through regular mail since it is not a guaranteed delivery service and can take longer than 2-3 days.

For return shipping within the US, please use the prepaid UPS return shipping box and label.

For international shipping, please use a guaranteed two to three day shipping method.


Q. How do I arrange for the lab to pick up my samples?

A: It is the sender’s responsibility to ship samples back to the lab for processing in a timely manner.


Q. What is the orange pad in the baggie with my vials used for?

A: The orange pad is included to protect postage handlers in case the vials leak during shipping and is required by shipping companies.


Billing Questions

Q. How much do tests cost?

A: For pricing information, please contact your ordering healthcare provider.


Q. Can you send me my test results, or an itemized statement?

A: Results will be sent to your healthcare provider. If you sent payment to us directly, we will send you a properly itemized insurance statement.


Q. Do I have to pay in advance for the test?

A: You have the option of paying in advance or submitting your insurance information for us to bill.


Insurance

Q. Does insurance cover my tests?

A: It depends on the insurance plan and benefit level. We recommend you call your insurance company to verify your out-of-network benefits including deductibles and co-insurances before submitting insurance information for us to bill.


Q. Does Medicare cover this?

A: Yes, Diagnos-Techs is a Medicare contracted provider. Although we cannot guarantee payment, Medicare will reimburse for our tests ordered by MD, DO, and NP.


Q. What if I have insurance questions?

A: Patients can call us at (800) 878-3787 and ask to speak with the insurance billing department.


Q. Does Insurance billing affect my results turn-around-time?

A: No, the only time it will be affected is if we are missing billable information.


Q. What forms are required to bill insurance?

A: Patients need to complete and sign the Diagnos-Techs insurance billing form along with a front and back copy of the insurance card(s). These forms can also be requested from our shipping department.


Q. Will the patient receive insurance reimbursement or will the Lab?

A: Since Diagnos-Techs is a non-contracted provider with all insurance companies except Medicare, some insurance companies will send the reimbursement to the member. In this case, the patient will be responsible for forwarding the insurance checks to us or they can submit payment in the form of check, money order, or credit card.


Other Questions

Q. When will the Short Thyroid Panel (STP) be offered again?

A: We do not have an estimated date, however when the STP is offered again a notice will be sent to all providers, posted on our website and will be announced in our quarterly newsletter, ChronoBiology Letter.


Q. What is the follow up time for re-testing?

A: Generally speaking, no sooner than 8-10 weeks, but it depends on individual results and at the discretion of your health care provider. It is appropriate to re-test 6-8 weeks following the completion of treatment or 3-4 months (or cycles) following the establishment of a hormone program.