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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

More Direct to Consumer Testing – Imagine a Plaintiff with a Trove of Personal Medical Data

It’s interestin to think about what’s ahead for litigation as consumers increasingly have access to self-ordered tests lab tests. Consider the following facts from an April 23, 2015 article from HealthcareDIVE

“Currently, ten states (including Arizona until July) allow consumers limited access to testing without a provider’s authorization. Twenty-seven states plus D.C. allow consumers to order tests directly, and 13 states prohibit testing entirely without a physician order, according to Theranos.


According to Bloomberg, LabCorp is exploring a partnership with a drugstore chain, something Quest Diagnostics tried and ultimately gave up. This raises the question of price point: Theranos offers an affordable diagnostic kit at some Walgreens locations that it says evaluates lipid panels, HIV status and more from just a few drops of blood. As Theranos gains a foothold, consumers are going to start balking at expensive lab tests.”

In addition, people such as Mark Cuban argue that people should set up quarterly blood work for themselves. While Mark of course is anything but an expert, it’s at least an interesting idea:

“Expect to hear more about this, as consumers start to demand more control over their health—and some providers hesitate. Mark Cuban recently fired off a Twitter missive stating that those that can afford it should get quarterly bloodwork to establish a “baseline of your own personal health.” Industry experts shot back that such testing could produce dangerous outcomes for patients. “More testing leads to more false positives and incidental findings (abnormalities that don’t pose a risk to your actual health),” wrote Charles Ornstein in ProPublica. “That leads to a higher probability of treatment. And treatment carries side effects.”

Whatever the merits may or may not be, imagine deposing people who have a trove of personal medical records and tests.

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