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Q: Why do we prefer saliva hormone testing over blood or serum?
A: Saliva samples are collected noninvasively and can be collected multiple times without pain or inconvenience. 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 should you 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, thus disturbing the body’s balance and function. Appropriate testing of hormone levels can identify these disturbances and provide bases for remedy.
Q: Does DiagnosTechs work directly with patients?
A: DiagnosTechs 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 DiagnosTechs regarding questions about sample collections and/or insurance.
Q: Does DiagnosTechs work with customers outside of the USA?
A: Yes, DiagnosTechs 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 DiagnosTechs?
A: A licensed healthcare provider needs to order the appropriate test kit through DiagnosTechs. Patients collect samples following the instructions on the back of the test form supplied in each kit, and send the test kit back to the laboratory to be processed. Results will be reported to the ordering provider upon completion.
Q: How do I get my patient’s 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 patients’ 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 nine business days.
Q: What do I do if my patient’s results contain a QNS result?
A: QNS stands for Quantify Not Sufficient and means the lab did not receive a large enough sample from the patient to run all the tests requested. The patient is eligible to resubmit for the test that reported as QNS at no additional charge. Please call or email the lab to request a resubmit test.
Q: What do I do if my patients’ results contain an SVP result?
A: SVP stands for Specimen Viability Problem and means that the specimen received was no longer viable to run that particular test. Every test has a different viability window. What was too long for one test may be okay for other tests that were ordered. The patient is eligible to resubmit for the test that reported as SVP at no additional charge. Please call or email the lab to request a resubmit test.
Q: What happens after I get the results?
A: We have in-house medical advisors who are available for additional assistance and consultation per request of the ordering health care provider. Patients should contact their health care provider for further questions and interpretation of their results.
Q: How can providers get answers to other questions?
A: There are many resources available on our website. You can also call DiagnosTechs at 800-878-3787 and ask to speak to a representative. Your call will be routed to the appropriate department depending on the nature of your question. You can also send us an email with any additional questions.
Q: When is the support staff available and what are DiagnosTechs’ business hours?
A: DiagnosTechs’ business hours are 7:30am to 5:00pm Pacific Time. The Medical Support and Billing Departments are available between 9:00am and 5:00pm Pacific Time. All other departments are available during normal business hours.
Q: What are the most common profiles that are ordered through DiagnosTechs?
A: Providers are encouraged to speak with one of our in-house medical advisors to learn which profile best matches your practice.
Q: Which panel is right for my patient?
A: A variety of factors such as history and symptoms come into play when determining which panel to order for your patient. For specific panel recommendations, you’re welcome to contact one of our medical advisers.
Gastrointestinal Health Panels
Q: Should probiotics be avoided prior to taking a GI test?
A: You may consider instructing your patient to avoid probiotics for approximately 2 weeks before testing. While probiotics will not cause false positives or negatives, they may change the gut flora populations transiently during use, possibly suppressing relevant bacteria on stool culture. Probiotics may also decrease inflammatory markers.
Q: Can you recommend anything to help produce stool samples in cases of constipation?
A: To produce a stool sample the patient may take stool softeners (containing docusates as the main ingredient), drink plenty of water, use abdominal massage, eat prunes, drink prune juice, take magnesium, and eat fiber-rich foods.
Q: Which parasites are reported as part of the GP2 – Ova and Parasites test?
A: The list is comprehensive, but all parasites that are visible under the microscope are reported as part of the GP2.
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 included inside each test kit box. If the instructions are missing, please call 800-878-3787 and ask to speak with Client Services.
Q: What does “avoid back to back collection” mean?
A: When collecting saliva for several test panels, avoid collecting more than one saliva vial in the same hour.
Q: Exactly how much saliva is needed to fill the vial ¾ full?
A: 5 ml.
Q: What is the best time to do collections for tests that are not time dependent, such as the Postmenopausal Hormone Panel (PHP), Male Hormone Panel (MHP), and the Female Hormone Panels (FHP and eFHP)?
A: If it is not time dependent, a collection can be done any time throughout the day, just not within an hour of eating or tooth brushing. 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.
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.
Ordering Tests from DiagnosTechs
Q: How do we order more kits?
A: Kits are ordered from your DiagnosTechs account, by fax at Fax 253-398-2449; or by phone at 800-878-3787.
Q: Can DiagnosTechs drop ship to my patient or other location?
A: Yes. For speed and accuracy, our preferred method for receiving drop ship patient orders is online. Phone, fax & email are also other ways drop ship patient orders can be received.
Q: How quickly can I receive additional test kits?
A: Call us at 800-878-3787, and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
Shipping Tests to DiagnosTechs
Q: Who pays for return shipping?
A: DiagnosTechs 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 the patient wants to guarantee next day or two day service, they can pay for expedited service on the 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 DiagnosTechs?
A: DiagnosTechs 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:
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.
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.
Q: Can I do direct collections for some patients and have DiagnosTechs bill insurance for others?
Q: Do my patients have to pay in advance for this testing?
A: Patients have the option of paying in advance or submitting their insurance information for us to bill.
Q: How often does DiagnosTechs bill my account?
A: Statements are mailed out on the 6th of each month.
Q: What billing options are available through DiagnosTechs?
A: The following three (3) billing options are available:
- Bill Physician/Clinic: DiagnosTechs will bill the provider.
- Patient pre-payment: Patients can send in the payment in full with a check, money order, or credit card information. We will mail an itemized receipt to the patient that can be submitted to their insurance company for possible reimbursement.
- Medicare/Insurance billing: DiagnosTechs will bill Insurance/Medicare at the retail price and the patients may be billed for the deductibles and/or coinsurances.
Q: Will I receive an itemized invoice showing which patients DiagnosTechs is billing me for?
A: Yes, patient name, test performed, date and test fees will appear on your monthly statements.
Q: Does insurance cover my patients’ tests?
A: It depends on the insurance plan and benefit level. It is best recommended for the patient to call his/her insurance company and verify the out-of-network benefits including deductibles and coinsurances before submitting insurance information for us to bill.
Q: Will DiagnosTechs bill insurance for my patients?
A: Yes, we will do so at the patients’ or the provider’s request.
Q: What if the patient has 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 DiagnosTechs 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: Are there different pricing schedules for insurance billing?
A: Yes, DiagnosTechs will bill insurance companies at our normal, retail price per procedure code. As a courtesy, we offer discounted rates to patients who pay upfront and/or are uninsured.
Q: Will the patient receive insurance reimbursement or will the laboratory?
A: Since DiagnosTechs 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.
Q: What is the follow up time for retesting?
A: Generally speaking, no sooner than 8-10 weeks, but it depends on individual results. It is appropriate to retest 6-8 weeks following the completion of treatment or 3-4 months (or cycles) following the establishment of a hormone program.
Q: How accurate are results if they are released without the date of sample collection?
A: Results will need to be interpreted with discretion based on the length of time in transit. Sample shelf life and stability are determined by storage temperature and duration. To factor in shelf life effects on results, the clinician should review pertinent information regarding sample collection and storage with the patient.