Direct access testing (DAT) is a process by which healthcare consumers order lab tests for themselves in states where it's legal and then pay for them (at very low prices) out-of-pocket. I have been blogging about DAT, which I support, for about nine years (see, for example: Four Categories of Direct Access Testing; Adding a DAT Option to Corporate Wellness Programs; Oversight of DAT Testing by Physician Networks). Over this time period, DAT has evolved from a minor, web-based option to an (almost) mainstream one. This transition has accelerated, in part, because of the media attention being paid to Theranos (see: Finally, Some Important New Details about the Theranos Business Model; Another Puff-Piece about Theranos; Extracting the Most Salient Points; Theranos Receives CLIA Waver for HSV-1 Test; Prepares for In-Store POCT). Although it was not commonly discussed in the past, LabCorp has quietly provided backend blood drawing and lab testing services to the DAT web sites. The company recently announced that it would be publicly providing DAT services using its own patient service centers (see: LabCorp to Offer Direct Access Lab Testing (DAT) to Consumers).
Theranos is now providing broad availability of lab testing in Arizona Walgreens drug stores. It should thus come as no surprise that Quest is fighting back with its Arizona-based Sonora Quest unit to compete with Theranos. You can navigate to the My Lab ReQuest web site for more details about the DAT program. This is a cash-only business but the Sonora Quest price list is very competitive: Test Requisition and Price List. This also comes as no surprise because Theranos is on record for offering very inexpensive testing.
Time will tell how all of this plays out in Arizona which now turns out to be the epicenter for DAT programs in the country. My early opinion regarding My Lab ReQuest is that it's too little, too late for the company. If Theranos can actually deliver on its promised services, it has the distinct advantage of being located in the numerous and very convenient Walgreens stores. The ReQuest customers will need to report to the Sonora Quest patient services centers although I am sure the the latter are in convenient locations. Theranos also has the advantage of being able to potentially piggyback on the Walgreens marketing in the state. Sonora Quest probably has little experience marketing directly to healthcare consumers.