To help you better understand Independent Clinical Labs and Free standing Imaging Centers, here are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you don't find the answer you are looking for, contact Member Service at the number on the front of your ID card.
An independent clinical lab is a laboratory that is not part of a hospital or hospital-based facility. Independent clinical labs perform tests or procedures to help diagnose and/or treat medical conditions. Some examples of tests include blood tests, urinalysis, and Pap tests. Some examples of independent clinical labs include Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp.
A freestanding imaging center is an imaging center that is not part of a hospital or hospital-based facility. Freestanding imaging centers produce specialized images to help diagnose medical conditions. Imaging examples include x-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds. Some examples of freestanding imaging centers include Shields MRI and Premiere Diagnostics.
There are several ways to find an independent lab or freestanding imaging center:
- Ask your doctor to refer you to a non-hospital provider
- Use the Find a Doctor Tool at bluecrossma.com/findadoctor
- Call Member Service at the number on your Blue Cross ID card
- Refer to the Diagnostic Tests and Imaging Centers section in your health plan Provider Directory
Costs for diagnostic tests and imaging services performed at hospitals or hospital-based outpatient centers are often among the highest. Your total cost of care will be lower and your out-of-pocket costs may be lower when you have your procedure performed at an independent clinical lab or freestanding imaging center. You’ll receive the same services, just at a different location.