Lab Services - Frequently Asked QuestionsContact
Please contact the specific laboratories if you would like more information regarding any of our policies or services.
Preparation / Sample
It depends on the test that is requested. Each test has its own sample requirements. Please search the test menu for specific test to look up sample requirements for that test. If more detail is needed, the lab associated with that test can be contacted directly. Please see above under Contact for specific laboratory phone number.
Each sample has to have a unique identifier and a date of draw. The laboratory can't process samples without these two requirements. If they are not met the sample will be considered unacceptable and the institution will have to redraw the sample.
The most frequent causes of unacceptable samples are improperly labeled tubes (see previous question). Other frequent causes are inappropriate transport temperature, incorrect sample type, unlabeled specimens and sample age. It is important to check sample requirements and shipping requirements for any sample that is sent to the Bloodworks Northwest. If a sample is unacceptable for testing, you will be notified by telephone.
The Laboratories will retain samples for a minimum of 1 month following the testing time. If more time is required, please contact the specific lab directly to inquire about other options.
Yes. Please include a completed Request for Testing Form (RFT) with each patient sample referred to the Bloodworks Northwest Specialty Diagnostic Laboratories. RFT forms are specific depending on the test you are ordering. Look up the test that you are requesting. Scroll to the bottom of test and in the section Requisition Form will be a link to the RFT that test is on. You can fill it out and send it in with your sample.
We have two types of requisition forms, fillable PDFs and hardcopy RFTs. You can tell the difference when you bring up the RFT. If it is fillable the boxes by the tests will highlight blue. If it is not fillable the boxes will not highlight.
For a RFT that is a fillable PDF online
Refer to the Testing Index to find the test you have requested. Click on the desired test and scroll to the bottom section titled Requisition Form. Click on the RFT to open up PDF. When in the PDF, select the tests to be ordered by clicking the box next to all of the tests that are being ordered. The box will turn black indicating desired test.
For a RFT that is a Hardcopy
Refer to the Testing Index to find the test you are requesting. Click on the test and scroll to the bottom section titled Requisition Form. Click on the RFT to open up the PDF. When RFT opens, print out it out and follow the directions below.
Samples must be sent in a sealed, leak-proof container with absorbent, marked with a biohazard sticker to comply with OSHA safety standards.
For specific shipping instructions on the test you are ordering please refer to our Testing Index. Search for the specific test you want. Scroll down to find the shipping instructions for that test. If more detail is needed the lab can be contacted directly. Please see above under Contact for specific laboratory phone number.
Please submit the sample together with the completed Request for Testing Form (RFT).
It depends. In general it is best to ship samples Monday- Thursday so the lab receives before Friday. Aside from the Immunoheatology Reference Lab and Transfusion Services, laboratories are officially closed on Saturday, Sundays and nationally observed holidays (listed below). Testing will not be done on those days.
There is potential for samples to be stored over the weekend for next business day testing. If a Friday through Sunday draw is unavoidable please refer to the Testing Index and look up the test you are ordering. Scroll down to the sample information and shipping information sections for that specific test to read about any restrictions there may be when drawing the sample. Contact the specific lab below if you have any further questions about when to draw to the sample and whether or not it can be drawn over the weekend.
Nationally observed holidays:
Results and Reports
Standard turn around time is different depending on the test requested. Please refer to our Testing Index and look up the test you are ordering. Scroll down to turn around time (analytic time) to see how much time you can expect for the test result. If more information is needed the lab can be contacted directly. Please see above under Contact for specific laboratory phone number.
Final test results are routinely sent by fax, secure email attachment, mail or hard copy via fax or mail. Results are also available through hospital links. If you need another format, contact the laboratory directly. Please see above under Contact for specific laboratory phone number.
Interim reports are received when critical test values are needed before either all testing is complete or before a director has signed off the final report. Interim reports are also available upon request. Interpretation of results will be included only in the final report. These interim reports are provided by all laboratories except Transfusion Services.
It is your responsibility to determine the correct CPT codes to use for billing. While our online test catalogue lists CPT codes to provide some guidance, the CPT codes listed only reflect our interpretation of the CPT codes appropriate for our tests and are not necessarily correct.
In some cases, a profile of tests may provide a comprehensive list of CPT codes for all potential tests included in the profile. However, only a subset of these tests may have needed to be performed on your specimen. You should verify accuracy of codes listed; and where multiple codes are listed, you should select codes for the tests actually performed on your specimen.
BLOODWORKS ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR BILLING ERRORS DUE TO RELIANCE ON CPT CODES LISTED IN ITS TEST CATALOG. For further reference, consult the CPT Coding Manual published by the American Medical Association; if you have questions regarding use of a code, contact your local Medicare carrier.
Recommended CPT codes are listed under each test online. Go to our Testing Index. Click on the test you are ordering and scroll down to the section titled CPT code. Be sure to review our recommended CPT codes with your insurance and state carriers as they reflect our interpretation of the AMA CPT code handbook.
STAT testing is available for some of our assays. Some STAT testing has an extra fee associated with it. The specific testing laboratory will be able to advise you if STAT testing is available and what STAT charges will be applied. Please contact the laboratory directly. Please see above under Contact for specific laboratory phone number.
Tests and panels can be canceled without charge if the notification is received before the sample has been processed.
Invoices are issued on a monthly basis and are sent when a test has been completed. The institution referring the sample is responsible for payment. Please submit all information for payment, including a purchase order number if required and billing address, on the requisition that is sent with the sample.
Bloodworks Northwest bills the referring institution unless the patient is an outpatient Medicare enrollee or a Medicaid recipient from Washington. Information that will have to be given at time of service is the following:
Possibly, the specific lab where testing is to be done needs to be contacted to make sure all necessary information is given. Please contact the laboratory directly.
We can offer your patients the option to pay directly for laboratory testing. We will accept a check, money order, VISA® or MasterCard® as advance payment. The following information would also need to be provided before testing is performed.