PAML set to roll out consumer product line
Also, company-managed network lands new clientMay 22nd, 2014
Spokane-based Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories LLC is developing a new consumer-based testing product line, known as Cinch, says CEO Dr. Francisco Velázquez.
Cinch, Velázquez says, will allow customers to order laboratory tests from home and either go to a collection facility or, eventually, draw blood at home. PAML’s current direct-to-consumer service, called Results Direct, will be fully integrated into the Cinch service, he says. Products customers can order include cholesterol, thyroid function, drug, diabetes screen, and cardiac function tests.
Washington, Velázquez says, is one of 34 states that allows consumers to order their own laboratory tests.
“Not every state allows consumers to have that kind of access,” he says.
Velázquez emphasizes, however, that Cinch isn’t meant to diagnose or treat a disease; rather, it’s a way for consumers to monitor their health between visits to their primary-care provider, he says.
“It’s a tool to manage your overall health and wellness on your own,” Velázquez says. “A large number of our testing-to-consumer clients bring this information to their primary-care providers.”
Currently, Cinch offers laboratory test kits through Results Direct that consumers can order and then take to a collection station to have blood drawn. PAML processes the test and then securely sends the results directly to the consumer, Velázquez says. The Cinch website, at gocinch.com, also will have a lot of information about laboratory testing, he says.
“If you’re not sure what you need to do from a wellness perspective or want more information on laboratory testing, we have some consumer information on what the tests are, how they’re performed, and what the reference ranges are,” Velázquez says. “So if you just want information, it’s a good place to find (it).”
Once the entire Cinch system is up and running later this summer, Velázquez says, consumers will be able to order at-home blood collection kits, consisting of a finger stick and a credit card-sized piece of material that absorbs and collects blood. The customer then sends it back for testing.
Velázquez says that with its current testing options, PAML only sends back results that are within the reference, or normal for that patient, range. If a test shows an abnormal result, a physician from PAML will contact the customer to ensure they see a doctor.
“We are a clinical provider; we’re very concerned about what information gets to consumers,” he says. “Any time a result is abnormal, we will have one of our physicians directly contact the consumer.”
PAML also recently announced that one of its joint ventures, Renton, Wash.-based PACLAB Network Laboratories, was selected by Everett, Wash.-based Western Washington Medical Group to do all of its laboratory testing.
PAML is part owner of PACLAB, which Velázquez says is a member-owned network. PAML is also the managing partner in PACLAB, he says, which means it’s responsible for managing all of the network’s clinical operations. There are seven other owner-members in the network besides PAML, Velázquez says.
PACLAB offers laboratory testing and consulting services through its member labs. It operates throughout Western Washington in conjunction with several different hospital systems.
PACLAB was founded in 1996, and is PAML’s second-oldest joint venture, Velázquez says.