Preparing for a lab test: getting started

Some doctors collect specimens for laboratory tests in their offices, but others do not. If your doctor provided you with an order for a test, you will need to visit one of our Patient Service Centers to have your specimen collected.

We have more than 2,200 Patient Service Centers nationwide, with highly trained professional staff who will collect your specimen.

We’re here to help you have the best experience possible. Arriving prepared can help make your visit go smoothly. In cases of tests that require fasting, your preparation can help ensure the accuracy of your results.

Here are 5 simple steps to set you up for success during your visit to a Patient Service Center:

  1. Monitor your treatment plan

    All lab testing must begin with an order from your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe lab testing as part of your visit. Or you can request a specific lab test from your doctor. A lab order can be printed or digital. If your doctor doesn’t hand you a printed lab order, we recommend contacting them prior to your Quest appointment to confirm that it was sent electronically.

  2. Find a Quest Diagnostics location near you

    Our locator will help you find Patient Service Centers near you to get your testing done. The locator will show you multiple locations, their hours, contact information, and maps. Enter your starting address and you will get printable directions.

  3. Schedule your appointment

    Minimize your wait by making an appointment. Appointments are strongly encouraged and will receive priority.  Walk-ins may be accommodated during the next available appointment opening, but cannot be guaranteed service. Scheduling an appointment will also give you the option of getting helpful pre-appointment email reminders and tips from Quest. If you prefer to walk in, it helps to know that our Patient Service Centers are usually busiest in the early morning.

  4. Know before you go

    Bring the following to your appointment:

    - Lab order from your doctor
    If your doctor did not give you a paper order at your appointment, check with him or her if they sent it electronically.
    - Photo identification
    - Current health insurance information
    - Credit, debit, or health savings card
    You will be asked to preauthorize payment for any balance due after your insurance is billed

    It’s important to also know if your test requires fasting the day before and/or morning of your appointment. Your healthcare provider should have indicated this on your lab order or during your visit! Learn more about fasting before a lab test here.

    Find out how you can get your results faster, by learning about MyQuest™ before your appointment.

  5. Payment

    If you’re insured:
    You will need to provide a credit, debit, or health savings card during your Quest Diagnostics visit. You’ll authorize an amount based on the estimated out-of-pocket cost of your lab test—but we’ll only charge your card if there’s a patient cost after we bill your insurance company. We don’t hold your funds and won’t charge you if your insurance pays the full amount. Learn more here. Whether you’ll owe a portion of lab testing completely depends on your insurance. Your responsibilities typically include copays, deductibles, coinsurance, and any testing services not covered by your plan. If you have questions about your coverage, contact your insurance company.
    We also offer payment plans. If you need help paying for the tests you need, our Patient Assistance Program may be able to help.

    If you’re uninsured:
    Uninsured patients are required to pay for their testing at the time of service. Ask your doctor about our discounted pricing for uninsured patients. If you need help paying for the tests you need, our Patient Assistance Program may be able to help.

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