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Patient Ordered Lab Tests, Post-Theranos

Arizona law allows individuals to order blood tests from a licensed clinical laboratory without a doctor's request. It’s called direct access testing.

The law was approved last year after being heavily supported by one blood testing company that is now facing multiple lawsuits, leaving other blood testing companies in the state to pick up the slack.

The law has been on the books since 2015, and heavily supported by CEO Elizabeth Holmes of lab-testing startup, Theranos.

Theranos and its founder now face lawsuits over claims it could provide direct-access tests using only a pin-prick sized blood sample.

Dr. Robert Stern, Medical Director for Sonora Quest Laboratories, said the direct access segment is a small part of what they do and not something he was on-board with from the beginning.

"A couple of years ago, when this came up before the legislature, we became aware of it, and voiced our opposition to that idea, and explained we had some concerns about the idea of making every lab test in the list available to any patient at any time, without an order,” Stern said.

Other direct-access labs have opened across the state in the last year.

Arizona is one of only a handful of states that allows direct access testing.

Heather van Blokland was a host at KJZZ from 2016 to 2021.