ROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story talks about Seward County Health Department Administrator Brie Greeson’s presentation to the commission about the health department’s new Lifecare Labs service. A future story will give further details about the service.
The Seward County Health Department will soon be offering a new way for people to get lab draws.
SCHD Administrator Brie Greeson talked to county commissioners Monday about Lifecare Labs, saying she was excited to tell the board about the new service.
Through Lifecare Labs, Greeson said clients will simply need to schedule lab draws with the health department.
“They do not have to have a doctor’s order for that,” she said. “They will be able to select from a panel of non-diagnostic lab services, and they will pay up front for those with either cash or card.”
Greeson said results from the lab draws will be available in roughly 10 to 14 days.
“Those will not be looked at by a physician,” she said. “They will go through Quest (Diagnostics). We will get them, package them, send them out. If there are any critical labs, we have a process for that with Dr. (Dennis) Knudsen.”
Greeson said SCHD has a registered nurse on staff who will perform the draws and a clerk in the lobby, both positions of which are allocated for in the department’s budget.
“We also have a contract with Quest on a special pricing for these services,” she said. “It does have a potential of revenue for the health department depending on volume.”
Greeson provided commissioners with a list of some of the tests that are provided and their costs, including a complete blood count, glucose, hemoglobin, hepatitis, measles, mumps, rubella and Vitamin D.
“There’s a $15 draw fee off the top, and it lists the prices in red,” she said. “The fasting labs are listed, and there’s the consent and some information we’ll be taking from them when they come in for these services.”
Greeson said Lifecare Labs is tentatively set to go live the second week of July.
“We’re waiting on a couple of things from Quest, basically supplies,” she said. “We’re just really excited to be able to do this. I think it’s going to be great for our community. They can get those labs they need to manage their care before they go and see their physician or their specialist and be able to pay a pretty reasonable fee for that.”
Commissioner Nathan McCaffrey asked how lab work was done before at SCHD.
“Typically before, they had a physician’s order and came in and had those drawn,” Greeson said. “This will eliminate that. They can still come in with a physician’s order and get labs drawn. This will be a way for people who don’t have insurance, which is a high population of our patients, to be able to get these services at a much cheaper rate.”
Greeson said SCHD’s front office coordinator will take care of payments for labs, and RN Alexa Varnes, who served as vaccine coordinator during the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue doing vaccinations for that virus, as well as lab work for Lifecare Labs.
McCaffrey asked if the health department has walk-in clients wanting lab tests without doctor’s orders.
“Yes,” Greeson said. “I’m hoping this will be something rather lucrative for us and be able to help the community.”
Commission Chair Ada Linenbroker compared the cost of the new SCHD lab service to similar services provided at doctors’ offices.
“The total with your costs is $70.50,” she said. “If you want to get it at the doctor, it’s $180 to get it drawn. This will help a lot of people who can’t afford to get it through the doctors. I think it’s a good thing.”
“I hope it will be,” Greeson said.