If you have ever needed PCR testing done, you have probably been surprised at the high cost. It can be difficult to know if you’re paying too much or not enough, so it’s important to understand what goes into the cost of these tests and how your doctor’s office determines that cost.
Here are some things to consider when getting ready to take your next PCR test and ensure that you are getting quality care for the money you are spending.
I had never heard of PCR before
This isn’t a method I have ever heard of, and it seems like it may have to do with testing genetics. When I googled PCR test near me, I found what looks like a clinic, but there is no information about what it does or does not test for on their website.
Some sites discuss pricing when searching for PCR test costs, but nothing helps someone compare costs between clinics (such as which tests they offer).
These prices range from $450-$800 CAD. My overall point here is that there are many companies providing PCR tests.
Still, if you aren’t familiar with what exactly it checks for, then you can’t make an informed decision about whether you want to spend money on a test that might not be necessary or beneficial for your needs.
What is a PCR test, and what does it mean for me?
PCR stands for a polymerase chain reaction. It’s a test that checks to see if you have certain types of cancer or infections like HIV.
But these tests aren’t cheap, and they can cost a lot depending on where you live in Canada. Today, I will talk about why that is and what your options are if you want to get tested at home.
PCR Test near me Many Canadians need a PCR test because they suspect they may have cancer or an infection like Hepatitis C.
This test gives doctors important information about how bad your condition might be and helps them make treatment plans by showing how much damage has been done already.
Unfortunately, each PCR test comes with a price tag between $200 to $400, not including additional lab analyses fees.
Why does my doctor send me to a private lab?: Most provinces don’t offer PCR testing at hospitals; instead, most patients are sent off-site to be tested in private labs by doctors who receive kickbacks from their referrals.
What are my options outside of Canada?
Fortunately, there are options available if you’re looking for a PCR test near me. Most of these tests use different technologies to diagnose genetic diseases, and depending on your needs, some may be more cost-effective than others.
For example, some labs will let you know if your fetus has genetic problems without testing every possible mutation. Also worth noting: most tests will not let you know what kind of mutation it is, only that it exists.
This means you may have to take multiple rounds of testing before getting a conclusive result. If money is an issue, plan accordingly and stay up-to-date with local discounts or free clinic days through Canadian health care providers.
How do I go about ordering it from abroad?
First, it’s important to know that you can’t just order a PCR test kit from your favorite online retailer and send it to your door.
The only way you can legally send human samples across borders is if they’re contained within diagnostic kits, which means they come with instructions on how to perform a test.
In other words, unless you want to pay an excessive amount for an overpriced kit (not to mention hope it makes its way through customs), I wouldn’t recommend trying that method.
Instead, I highly recommend finding a lab near you that offers PCR testing; at that point, all you need to do is ask them if they’ll send off your sample—typically at-cost or discounted rates are available.
Is the test result valid if done abroad?
If you’re looking to save money on a PCR test, you might be tempted to go abroad. A vacation would be nice, but it’s important to understand that PCR results aren’t valid if done abroad (unless specifically approved by Health Canada).
This is due to variations in lab techniques, equipment quality, and standards for DNA samples. If your results are invalid because they were performed outside of Canada, you could get stuck paying for follow-up testing—or worse: another major surgery!
To ensure fast, affordable PCR testing without risking errors or invalid results, book an appointment with one of our walk-in clinics near you. Test away your fear today!
Are there any risks to sending my sample abroad for testing rather than getting it done here?
Yes. You’re right to be concerned about sending your sample away for testing, as DNA testing isn’t regulated, and mistakes can happen when results aren’t interpreted correctly.
There’s a simple solution: make sure you’re getting your test done by an accredited lab—there’s an accreditation logo on all of our kits. We always perform our PCR tests at internationally-accredited labs.
We have agreements with them that ensure that it’s handled quickly and efficiently through their existing processes if something goes wrong.
To learn more about PCR testing near me or any other aspect of DNA testing, read our complete FAQ page or contact us directly with any questions you may have (it takes less than five minutes). We’re always happy to help!
What about reporting on the results
Very few labs provide a direct-to-consumer test option, but there’s one. If you’re looking for a private lab, ask your doctor to recommend one.
They’ll have connections and be able to suggest reputable options for you (but keep in mind that they might not necessarily know about all of them – it’s important to do your own research).
Once you’ve found a lab abroad that offers an affordable test, book an appointment and get those samples taken! Note:
It can take two weeks or more to receive results from most international clinics. Finally, if everything comes back positive – what then?
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If your STD status is suddenly causing concern, try reaching out to your partner(s) immediately with complete honesty, or find local support through a sexual health clinic like Planned Parenthood.