Frequently Asked Questions About Lab Procedures
Can I get my test results sent to more than one physician?
Yes, tell the clerk at the time of registration what physicians should receive your test results. Our computer systems will automatically send them to your physicians at no additional charge.
Do I need an appointment?
In most instances, you need only appear at a collection station and you will be promptly served on a "first come, first serve" basis. You will need to register with the clerk each time you have blood drawn.
There are two exceptions where appointments are required:
- Sweet Chloride test
- Therapeutic phlebotomy procedure
These procedures are performed in the hospital's outpatient facility and should be scheduled Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. by calling (812) 485-4925.
Do I need anything to get my blood drawn?
You need only to come to one of our conveniently located collection centers, register with the clerk and provide the following information:
1. An order sheet signed by your physician describing the tests that are required. Occasionally, your physician will fax us a signed order that we will keep on file until you arrive.
2. Your diagnosis code (sometimes referred to as an ICD9 code). This should be on the physician's order sheet. Please make sure that at least one diagnosis code is on the order sheet before you leave the physician's office.
3. A photo ID and your up-to-date insurance card, which we will photocopy to verify your insurance each time you visit us.
4. That you are fasting, if the test(s) require it. For most tests, it is not a good idea to eat 2-3 hours before your blood is drawn. Please check with your physician to see if additional fasting is required.
5. If you are using Medicare or Medicaid for your insurance, your orders will be reviewed for eligibility and compliance to the Medicare Reimbursement Act. If Medicare/Medicaid does not pay for one or more of the tests ordered, then our laboratory will issue you an Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN) stating that Medicare/Medicaid declines payment. You will then need to sign the ABN stating that you will be directly responsible for payment of any charges incurred for lab tests that Medicare/Medicaid will not cover. A copy of the ABN will be provided to you.
6. If the physician's signature or the ICD9 code is absent from the order sheet, then the laboratory will have to call your physician's office for that information. You may then have to wait for an extended period of time until we can speak to your physician. Please make sure that you have all necessary information on the order sheet before leaving your physician's office.
How do I collect a Urine Specimen at home?
There are two general types of urine collections that you do at home and then bring to the laboratory:
- Random: Patients takes a single collection into a sterile cup of all urine presently in the bladder.
- Timed Collections: Patients collect all of the urine produced during a defined period of time (generally 12 to 24 hours) pouring it into a large, brown bottle available from this laboratory.
To begin the collection, you empty all urine from your bladder and discard. From that point forward, you begin your timing and collect ALL urine. Save all urine and pour it into the collection bottle until the collection period is over. At the end of the collection period, you empty your bladder one last time and save that urine
Do not urinate directly into a timed urine collection container. It may contain a preservative in the bottle that could splash onto you. It is best to keep these specimens refrigerated until you make the trip to the collection station, usually within four hours of completion.
How long do I have to fast before you can draw my blood?
Fasting is defined as 12 hours without eating any food. You are allowed to drink moderate amounts of water during the fast. Smoking is discouraged during the fasting period. It is best to fast during your sleep period and then go directly to the laboratory's collection station to have your blood drawn before eating any meal, however small. The following tests require fasting of 10 to 12 hours:
- Glucose (sugar)
- Chemistry profiles that contain tests for glucose commonly called a CMP or BMP
- Lipid Profile (Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL, LDL, Apo-proteins)
How long does it take to receive my results?
Most routine outpatient laboratory tests are completed the same day that they are collected. These results are electronically reported to your physician's office each evening. You can call your physician the next day for these results.
In some cases, your test may be held for a short period of time (24 to 48 hours) and testing performed with a batch of specimens. In a few cases, the testing is specialized and referred to a reference laboratory. Those results can take a week to ten days to obtain, depending on the nature and complexity of the test.
Stat testing and critical values are communicated immediately upon completion.
What is HIPPA?
The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act is a governmental law that requires healthcare workers to protect your health information from being disseminated to people that do not require that information for your direct care as a patient. St. Mary's laboratories comply with all aspects of the law.