Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need laboratory tests?

Laboratory tests provide valuable information for making health care decisions. Practitioners use them to help assess your health status, diagnose disease, determine appropriate treatment or monitor treatment.

What hours are the labs open for walk-in services?

We have several outpatients labs in Central Oregon. Click here for a full list of locations and hours of operation.

What if I have an urgent lab need after hours?

Our inpatient lab is open 24 hours a day, every day.

Can I order lab tests on myself without an order from a doctor?

ORS 438 allows specific tests to be performed without a practitioner's order. St. Charles has several tests called Public Screen Testing that you may request without an order from a doctor. Patient should be fasting 10-12 hours prior to collection. 

Click here to fill out public screen test request form. Print and take to any St. Charles outpatient center.

Who may order and interpret lab test results?

In the state of Oregon, only certain licensed health care professionals may order laboratory tests. However, you may get blood glucose, cholesterol or lipid panel testing at health fair prices on a walk-in basis at our outpatient draw sites.

When are lab tests completed?

Most test results are delivered within 24 hours. If urgent care and lab results are needed rapidly, tests are ordered "STAT" and results are reported to the doctor within minutes or hours.

May I have a copy of my lab test results?

Under Oregon law, patients may have copies of their reports seven days after results have been reported or sooner if tests were ordered with instructions specifying the "patient may have results." A release form is required, and you must show identification to pick up a copy of your results:

Authorization for Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information (English)

Autorización para Usar y Divulgar Información Médica Protegida (Espanol)

Are lab tests covered by Medicare?

Medicare will pay for these screening tests under the following conditions:

  • Cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL (lipid panel): Once every five years.
  • Glucose: Once a year (365 days) for those without pre-diabetes; twice a year for those with pre-diabetes.
  • PSA screening: Once a year (365 days) for men age 50 years and over.
  • Occult blood screening: Once a year (365 days) for age 50 years and over (no specific diagnosis code required).

Other screening tests might not be covered by Medicare, which only pays for tests considered medically necessary. To be covered, tests must be ordered with a specific, Medicare-related diagnosis code.

Medicare Preventive Services

Can I test for certain conditions with a home kit?

Yes, but caution is advised. Currently kits are available for blood glucose, cholesterol, HIV, occult blood, ovulation and pregnancy testing. Home-based testing kits will only give reliable results if the directions are followed exactly.