With more than 17,000 physicians apart of this integrated managed care consortium, Kaiser Permanente offers health plan options, medical centers, and non-profit entities which generate billions of dollars in profits every year. The care provided by this organization is consistently rated highly and part of that may be due to the fact that they pay salaries instead of hourly rates to their medical professionals.
If you are part of this consortium or have a blood test ordered and a Kaiser Permanente laboratory is going to examine the results, then you may have questions about what is going on. Here are some of the most common questions people ask about a Kaiser Permanente blood test and the answers you may need.
Q: What blood test can be ordered through Kaiser Permanente?
A: Any blood test can be ordered by a Kaiser Permanente physician. Laboratories that are operated by this integrated managed care consortium will also accept most specimens. Your blood test is logged into the electronic records system and then subjected to the chemistry testing that has been ordered by the physician.
Q: What happens to my blood during testing?
A: Kaiser Permanente follows a 4 step testing procedure for virtually every chemistry test. The chemistry section will tests for specific substances that may indicate a disease is present. This includes cholesterol testing. The hematology section takes a look at the functioning of blood plasma and cells and includes the CBC blood tests. The microbiology section will look for parasites, fungi, and bacteria. The fourth and final section, virology, will look to see if there is a virus present in the blood or if evidence of its recent presence can be located.
Q: How are test results communicated?
A: Kaiser Permanente will directly contact your physician if they see that your test results indicate that you may be very ill. If results are normal or there isn’t a rush to receive them, then they may be mailed directly to your doctor or may be mailed to you, depending on your personal preferences.
Q: How long does it take to receive Kaiser Permanente blood test results?
A: Blood test results depend on how long it takes to complete a specific blood test. Timing also depends on the length of time it takes to draw the blood and when your doctor may contact you with the results. For some patients, they may receive their complete blood test results from Kaiser Permanente in just a few minutes. In other instances, it may take several weeks for the results to be communicated.
Q: How are my blood test results going to be used?
A: Once you and your doctor have the information from your blood test results, the formation of a treatment plan can begin. The information can be used to diagnose a disease or to rule it out. It may indicate that a treatment plan is effective or that it needs to be changed. This is a conversation that you must have with your treating doctor so that the best possible results can be obtained.
Q: Can I trust my Kaiser Permanente blood test results?
A: The laboratories in the Kaiser Permanente network make sure any testing offered is accurate and reliable before it is offered. Controls are put into place to make sure that every blood test is frequently monitored. Results are also compared to similar external and internal tests for consistency and frequent inspections occur. If the blood test is not offered by a consortium laboratory for some reason, that test will be outsourced to a third-party lab which does offer the test.
Q: Will my doctor make a diagnosis based on my blood test results?
A: It is possible. Some blood test results provide clear results. For example: you are pregnant or you are not pregnant. You either have a virus in your blood or you do not. Many blood tests, however, provide general information to a treating doctor and are not suitable to be used as a screening tool to make a diagnosis. The results will be used with other information, including your general health, your symptoms, and other medical factors to determine what your health issues and subsequent treatment plan may need to be.
Kaiser Permanente blood tests offer you medical information that can lead to a diagnosis and treatment of a bothersome condition. Although medical science isn’t necessarily perfect, the tools used by this consortium can give you the reliable and affordable care you may need. Always speak to your doctor about health questions you may have and consider all of your provider and insurance options before deciding on a specific course of action.