New Maryland law will lift restriction on at home lab tests

SALISBURY, Md. – It’s a practice that’s becoming more popular in the United States. People are choosing to get lab testing done from the comfort of their own homes.

“Technology is coming along that offers this kind of information to us within our home,” said Vice President of Clinical Integration at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Dr. James Trumble.

For years at home lab providers in Maryland were not allowed to advertise their home testing kits to people living in the state. That is until Now.
Starting October 1st, that restriction will be lifted after a bill that got unanimous support from both the House and the Senate was passed in the Maryland General Assembly.

“It was something that became restrictive and didn’t offer options for people to avoid high bills, to be able to have alternatives in working with their doctors to get lab testing done,” said EverlyWell Founder and CEO, Julia Cheek.

So how exactly does it work? Health officials tells 47 ABC customers will be able to go in stores or online to get a kit to test for a wide range of conditions like diabetes, cholesterol and even STD’s. You collect your own samples and send it back to the provider who then gives you your results. But we’re told the most important aspect of this new trend is to help make lab tests like these more affordable.

“We hear from consumers everyday that we helped them avoid a standard $400, $500 lab bill,” said Cheek.

But these tests are raising some concerns for doctors here on the shore. Dr. Trumble tells 47 ABC it’s not uncommon for lab results to come back with false negatives or positives.Which would require further screening from professionals.

“Seeing a patient who has several risk factors or signs of a certain diagnoses, they took a home test and it was negative so now they’re not worried about it. Even the way that it’s collected sometimes leads to erratic results,” said Trumble.

Which is why Dr. Trumble says if you’re going to be taking these tests at home, always follow up with your doctor to discuss your results and further options.

“In access to care, I think it’s actually a great thing in general, I think where it gets a little sticky is in the value,” said Trumble.

Health officials also say that in order to get these kits, a Maryland Board Certified physician has to approve your request and will be involved in the entire process. If you would like to learn more information about these kits click here.

Categories: Local News, Maryland