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Understand Cholesterol Testing

September is National Cholesterol Education Month. Learn more about cholesterol and other lipids, and when testing may be appropriate.

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In-depth Feature Articles

To learn more about laboratory medicine in general and gain a greater understanding of how laboratory testing can impact your health care, read the following in-depth articles. These patient resources are intended to help you navigate the testing process, provide context for the lab tests you may need or have already completed, and give you a better understanding of your test results.

Acidosis and Alkalosis

The body usually maintains its acid-base balance, but sometimes things go wrong. Acidosis is when body fluids are too acidic, and alkalosis occurs when body fluids are too alkaline.

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You and Your Health Care Provider

Understanding test results means working closely with health care providers. Read about patient-centered medicine and the people who form your health care team.

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Medicare Covered Testing

What kind of health testing does Medicare cover? Read more to find out more about Medicare-covered testing and how it works.

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Employee Drug Testing: Weighing the Costs and Benefits

What are the costs and benefits of workplace drug testing? Learn more about the types of workplace drug testing, the laws, and how it’s used in various states and industries.

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Reference Ranges and What They Mean

A reference range is a set of values that includes upper and lower limits of a lab test based on a group of otherwise healthy people. By comparing your test results with reference values, you and your health care provider can see if any of your test results fall outside the range of expected values and gain clues to help identify possible conditions or diseases.

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Where Lab Tests Are Performed

Laboratory testing is performed in many different settings, from the large reference lab to your own home. As we learn to take a more active role in our medical care, a clear understanding of what happens when our blood or urine or other body fluid specimen is sent "off to the lab" will help us to become more knowledgeable participants in our own healthcare.

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Ask a Laboratory Scientist

Ask A Laboratory Scientist

This form enables patients to ask specific questions about lab tests. Your questions will be answered by a laboratory scientist as part of a voluntary service provided by one of our partners, American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. Please allow 2-3 business days for an email response from one of the volunteers on the Consumer Information Response Team.

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