One of the more positive aspects of the Theranos "adventure" in Arizona has been that it has paved the way for Sonora Quest Laboratories to expand its direct access testing (DAT) and PSC services in the state (see: Sonora Quest Laboratories and Safeway Expand Highest-Quality Diagnostic Testing to Greater Arizona). Below is an excerpt from an article with more details:
Sonora Quest Laboratories and Safeway ...[is opening] six new Sonora Quest Laboratories Patient Service Centers (PSCs) ...[in] Safeway stores.... throughout Arizona. The new locations in Arizona are in addition to the two PSCs opened in November 2015....The full-service retail locations offer an exceptional patient experience with convenient lab testing services, access to the most accurate and up-to-date diagnostic capabilities and a guest paging system which allows clinic visitors to shop while waiting for their time-slot or appointment. Sonora Quest Laboratories also provides time-saving services such as patient ordered lab tests through My Lab ReQuest and online (plus mobile) appointment scheduling. With quick access to all laboratory test results though the Patient Results Portal at SonoraQuest.com, patients can proactively manage their health and make educated decisions with a health care provider....Whether customers schedule an appointment for a traditional physician ordered test or walk in for a self-ordered testing through My Lab ReQuest, the retail convenience offers an excellent care experience with friendly staff, highly-skilled phlebotomists and accurate testing.
The best way to understand this development is to state that SonoraQuest has expanded its patient services centers (PSCs) in multiple Safeway stores in Phoenix and beyond. These PSCs are located in proximity to the in-store Safeway pharmacies so that phlebotomists can take advantage of the space used by the pharmacists for administration of IV medications and flu shots. Moreover, a pre-existing Sonora Quest program called My LabReQuest allows consumers to order blood tests for themselves on the web without a physician order and then drop in to a local Safeway for the blood draw. The Sonora Quest/Safeway PSCs thus provide blood drawing services to patients holding a physician lab test order as well as those ordering lab tests for themselves.
The October 17, 2016, issue of the Dark Report (subscription only) makes the following interesting observation in an article entitled PSCs in Safeway Stores Popular with Consumers concerning the localization of high DAT activity in the state of Arizona:
DAT has been available in Arizona for more than two decades. LabXpress was founded in Phoenix in 1989 to provide low-cost lab tests and has a legitimate claim to be the first direct-to-patient low cost lab company. AnyLabTestNow currently operates six franchise locations in Arizona of which four are in the Phoenix Metro.
Perhaps now forgotten is the fact that Quest had entered the DAT business in 2001 and exited in 2006 with a service called QuestDirect and later QuesTest (see: QuesTest Bails Out of the DAT Market). It was obviously not successful at that time but but was a forerunner of events to come. Here is a quote from that note:
Beginning in 2002, QuesTest launched a new strategy for its DAT operations, using retail drug chains and grocery store chains to sell plastic cards representing various types of test panels (e.g., men's health panel). Following the purchase in a retail outlet, the customer would report to a Quest patient service center for venipuncture. Test results were mailed to the customer and could also be obtained on the web site.
Walgreens was badly burned by its bad experience with Theranos (see: Walgreens Terminates Relationship with Theranos; Will Be Closing Operations at All 40 Theranos Wellness Centers in Arizona). It remains to be seen whether the major Quest competitor, LabCorp, will choose to compete with Sonora Quest in Arizona with its own PSCs with one of the national retail drug store chains (see: LabCorp to Offer Direct Access Lab Testing (DAT) to Consumers).