Getlabs now offers scheduling tools for caregivers, providers to decrease barriers to targeted diagnoses

Getlabs announced today that caregivers and providers will now be able to book at-home lab services through its instant booking tool.

Third parties can now access the service that was previously only available for patients to book their own lab-collecting appointments. The offering comes after feedback from payers, providers and caregivers asking for expanded capabilities of the at-home service with the hopes that treatment plan adherence will increase. Same-day appointments can be booked as early as 5 a.m. with relevant parties being notified when appointments are scheduled and completed, according to the company.

“In some cases, a caregiver doesn't have the ability to actually take the patient to a laboratory, to the medical facility, and so not only is it a barrier to care to have to book an appointment, but it's also a barrier to have to bring the person to an appointment,” Getlab’s co-founder and CEO Kyle Michelson told Fierce Healthcare. “With this technology, we've also enabled new notifications that go to the provider, to the caregiver or to the family member including everything from a note that the appointment has been confirmed to whether patients have been adherent or non-adherent.”

While decentralized networks of phlebotomists are also available, Getlabs provides a streamlined service bringing down the cost of at-home labs. Appointments start at $35 for day-of appointments and later appointments increase the price to between $49 and $59, down from between $75 and $150 for independent phlebotomists who can charge by test or tubes collected.

Getlabs’ platform provides real-time availability for appointments, including weekends, and price across 45 markets. The service provider also highlights its focus on quality of care, ensuring that even the 20% of patients who are afraid of needles feel relaxed.

“We want to be so good at what we do in healthcare, that from a patient standpoint, they're so focused on how great the conversation is, how great the care is, how professional it is, that they're not even thinking about the fact they’re afraid of needles,” Michelson said. “We want this to be something whereby making healthcare a friendlier experience and a more accessible experience, more patients will be adherent and they won't fall through the cracks.”

For patients who are a fall or infection risk, at-home services are especially valuable, even potentially meaning getting discharged from inpatient care sooner, Michelson said.

Other players are investing in the at-home lab market. Last week, CVS Health partnered with ixlayer to provide at-home sample collection kits for Lyme disease, vitamin D levels, thyroid function and sexually transmitted infections.

Getlabs is now a dominant player in the at-home lab service market, Michelson said. The company, launched in 2018, boasts total funds raised as $23 million to date, $20 million of which was secured in series A funding earlier this year.

“If you pair the fact that we have the technology platform to go nationally and a quality employee model, suddenly, you've changed the landscape where previously you'd have to have this kind of tapestry of mobile phlebotomy companies across the country and try to stitch it together to figure out, ‘Well, my patient in this state needs this person,’ suddenly you have a way where at a national scale, you can reach your patients,” Michelson said. “So this will be valuable for telehealth companies, for individual providers, health systems, health plans, you go down the line.”

Laboratory tests play a role in roughly 70% of diagnostic decisions. Deaths that could have been prevented by a proper diagnosis are predicted to be between 40,000 and 80,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As digital services become a permanent part of healthcare, Michelson believes Getlabs can help fill the gaps.

“The reason that's so valuable, especially in the domain of telehealth, is that there are telehealth companies who have been playing a little fast and loose when it comes to patient information; they're sort of guessing what the patients' conditions might be,” Michelson said. “The reason they're doing that is because they don't actually have a way to reach those patients. So the huge opportunity we really identified is how do we not only help the traditional players improve the existing health system, but help this new breed of healthcare companies act more responsibly and really make informed decisions for their patients.”

Getlabs also recently partnered with uMETHOD, a company providing precise medication for chronic disease sufferers, and Sonora Quest Laboratories to offer patients with Alzheimer's disease access to at-home lab work. The collaboration means those experiencing cognitive decline may stay in a familiar setting to complete lab work to better target care.