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Published August 21, 2012, 11:30 PM

New franchise in Fargo offers medical testing far removed from doctor’s office

FARGO – The doctor may not be in, but one of the city’s newest health services companies can give you a pretty good idea of what ails you.

FARGO – The doctor may not be in, but one of the city’s newest health services companies can give you a pretty good idea of what ails you.

That’s Any Lab Tests Now, an Atlanta chain that opened a franchise here early this year at 3019 13th Ave. S. As the name suggests, the company will test customers for anything from drugs to paternity to sexually transmitted diseases – all in a setting that’s far removed from the typical trip to the doctor’s office.

“What we’re basically doing is making lab work retail,” said local franchisee Dan Parker.

The company doesn’t take insurance. Parker said the tests are 30 to 60 percent cheaper than they’d be at a hospital. Any Lab Tests charges anywhere from $49 for run-of-the-mill blood work to $1,600 for a prenatal paternity test.

It offers coupons and discounts on some tests, such as a battery of five sexually transmitted diseases tests for college students for $199.

The company uses about a dozen labs around the country for different tests. The bulk of the work is done in Minneapolis and Chicago.

Testing generally takes about 15 minutes, Parker said. Most of that time is devoted to paperwork. Tests do not require an appointment.

Results can take anywhere from one to seven business days, depending on the test.

He said the company’s target customers are people with high-deductible insurance or no insurance, people with Health Savings Accounts, and people who don’t want their insurer to know about a visit or a test.

Because of the sensitive nature of many of the tests, privacy is a high priority. Customers don’t have to give their real names or show ID, and the company is bound by the same federal privacy rules as other health services providers.

Customers can pick up their results in person or get them via email. Some tests, like those for sexually transmitted diseases, require an in-person pickup.

The company only notifies customers via the phone for lower-stakes tests and if there are no other options.

The company tries to make lab results easy to interpret, but it can’t tell customers if they actually have a disease or medical condition. Instead, it encourages them to take their results to a doctor.

He said the company, which has about 140 franchises in 28 states, is trying to complement doctors, not compete with them.

“We can’t diagnose,” he said. “We can only give you the results.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Marino Eccher at (701) 241-5502

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