#134: Lab Testing For Your Clients (And For You)

Clients having a hard time getting lab testing done? In this episode Michelle shares about an alternative way that your client, or you, or ANYONE, can empower themselves by ordering tests directly. This discussion includes questions about scope of practice, cost and availability in different areas of the world.

👉 Want to try ordering lab tests directly? Save 20% when you use code HEALTH20 at HealthCoachPower.com/labtests

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Hello, health coaches. You know, we talk a lot about marketing and running your business, but the best possible way to find success as a health coach is getting your clients results, right? Because when that happens, what happens next, they become people who refer other clients to you. They're going to go out and sing your praises. They're going to do your marketing for you. And lately in my practice, I've been asking my clients to talk to their doctor about different lab tests that I believe would be useful because this helps get results. Sometimes it helps get really big, really important results for my clients. Now, before anyone even asks, cause I know what's going to happen as a health coach. Can I prescribe, can I order lab tests? Can I say, hey, you have this disease? No, I can't prescribe anything. I can't order the test.

I can't say here are the tests that I want you to go get blah-blah-blah I can't do that. I can't look at lab results and interpret them for my clients. And I certainly cannot diagnose them with any diseases. However, I'll be damned. If I haven't suggested my clients talk to their doctor about XYZ and certain tests that could be done and wait for it. Oh, a week later, the client has a diagnosis from their doctor and appropriate medication for the first time. All because they spoke up, this is good stuff. This is what health coaches can do. They're empowered. The clients become empowered and that's the point, right? So before you even worry that this is something that you should not cannot get involved in, you can, and you very well should, you know, let, let's talk about it. When a client has an issue and you're like, you recognize it, or maybe they even recognize it.

They could say, I always have low iron, or they might just tell you, and you suggest that they're going to, uh, maybe follow up with their doctor or get a new doctor or whatever, and try and get the proper testing done. Sometimes, as you know, and I'd love to hear if this has been your experience, sometimes doctors push back, right? Um, sometimes doctors are not interested. Sometimes they're not listening. And some of my clients have actually been scared of going to the doctor because either they don't have good insurance or they don't like their doctor, they don't have a good relationship or they straight up have white coat syndrome and they hate stepping foot in a doctor's office.

So, today I want to talk about an alternative way to get lab testing done quickly, no matter who you are, and guess what whoever's ordering the lab test, it will go directly to them and they don't even have to go get blood drawn somewhere. You know, like sometimes you get the lab tests, you have to go to Quest diagnostics or wherever you have to go to get the blood taken. You don't even have to do that. It is mind blowing. Like this is my mind blown all over the place. And that's why I know that I needed to share this information with you because it's going to be really helpful for you too professionally, and also personally, maybe.

So, we'll get into that in just a minute, but first, if you are here with me live, and I know a couple of you are, please say hello and ask your questions about lab testing in the comment area. And I will do my very best to answer those. I also need to give a virtual hug and a shout out to Katehouse89. Hi Kate, who left this five star review on Apple podcasts. You guys, I completely adore you for taking a minute to write a review. It helps me help more health coaches succeed, and that improves the health of the world. And that is why we are all here. Okay. This is what Kate wrote. She said tangible tactical advice. Michelle shows up each week and serves up the perfect dish of tactical advice mixed with inspiration and the permission to dream big from a fellow health coach, podcaster and entrepreneur. Thank you, Kate. Thank you. And please send your mailing address to support@healthcoachpower.com and just reference episode number 134. So we can send a thank you, gift your way for your thoughtful review. And please send me a link to your podcast as well. I love seeing what you guys are doing and what you're putting out in the world.

Okay. So today's topic about lab testing comes from Monica, Monica posted inside of our Health Coach Power Community Facebook group. And this is what she said. She wrote, I have heard of several coaches that order lab work for their patients. And I'm curious if medical insurance will cover the labs and how they get ordered if you're not a medical provider. And then I think it was the same exact day. We got this post from Marina and Marina said, can you recommend a reliable online course or program where you can learn how to prescribe supplements based on results of medical tasks? Okay. So we're going to talk about all of that together. Cause I think it's a really important topic and I'm glad you guys have been asking about it. There's some cool stuff that's available to us now that was not true 10 years ago.

Here's the thing. Some health coaches are also nurses or doctors or a psychiatrist or whatever. They have a medical license. So there's some health coaches can indeed order lab work, right? So if you see that happening, that may be why. Additionally, there are some health coaching schools that provide training in reading, understanding, interpreting lab test results. If that's not your school, that's okay. You don't have to be able to do this as a health coach, but more and more I'm seeing that pop up in the curriculums, especially with functional medicine trainings for health coaches and one school that comes to mind that actually allows graduates to order tests themselves as if they were, I guess, a medical provider they're able to actually order their own lab tests is called functional diagnostic nutrition or FDN. We have some members from, or students graduates of FDN inside of our Facebook group.

And I've seen a lot of interest in this. So I'm actually in the process of following up with FDN and hopefully we're going to have them on the show at some point to talk about this. Cause that's pretty exciting. However, this can all get us into some pretty tricky, tricky, legal territory, doesn't it? I am not a lawyer. I am never giving legal advice. Got it/ But I do know, as health coaches, we have to be careful that we never crossed the line into, uh, practicing medicine, without a license that would be a bad place to go. We also have to be careful, especially in the orange States and the red States and depending where you live in the world, the rules are different about giving personalized nutrition advice. However, I'm going to tell you again, in my own health coaching practice, sometimes it is as simple as this, a client will say, um, oh my vitamin D levels are low.

My doctor told me my vitamin D levels were low. The last time that I was in for a visit. And they'll say, yeah, I've been taking supplements for a couple months sporadically, but I'm still feeling blah. Right. And we're left wondering, well, is the vitamin D level still low? Is it maybe a little bit better? And also like, are the supplements working? Are they being absorbed? Like, there's those all questions? Just a big question mark. We can't do anything about it without further testing. So I think it's super useful to reflect back to my client. Like, Oh, when did your doctor say you should come back in for a second test? Or do you think your doctor would be able to check your vitamin D again soon, this is not going out of scope. You guys, it is simply encouraging the client to take ownership of their health.

So that's one example. Another example for my coaching practice is when I'll have clients who, um, they have a ton of symptoms and I'm immediately able to go in my head. Oh wow, that's all related to this particular condition. So I can always educate my clients about what symptoms are related to often in my practice it's Hashimoto's disease. So I can explain that to them. I can educate them. And from there they're usually very motivated to go contact their doctor and talk about getting tests done. Again. I am not going out of scope. I am not diagnosing. I am not prescribing, but the results of tests can often be very, very useful. If we know that a client's vitamin D is low, even though they've been taking supplements, okay, now we have something to work with here. Maybe the client needs more sun exposure, right?

Maybe they need to develop a daily habit to remember to take those supplements. Or if we know that a client has Hashimoto's with antibodies that are through the roof, that's going to be my cue to educate that client about food triggers that are related to Hashimotos. So what about those cases? When we just can't get the tests done? When, uh, the doctor isn't amenable or the client doesn't want to ask, I was super, super interested to learn about a service that does medical lab testing direct to consumer. Like I was telling you, in fact, you don't even have to go get a blood draw. It's a kit. It comes directly to your house it arrived in my mailbox. Everything you need is inside, and then you mail it back and you get results within a few days. It is brilliant. I'm like, oh my God, whatever technology it takes to make this happen, I I'm all about it.

I'm so happy to live in a world where something like this is available, especially working as a health coach, but it doesn't even matter that I'm a health coach. Anybody can do it, your client, your mom, you can order it for yourself. It doesn't require a certification, right? This is direct to consumer. So that means it's available to all. And you can order all different types of tests from thyroid panels to checking micronutrient levels. Like we were just talking about vitamin D. Maybe you want to check magnesium levels, right? That one's another one. That's very important in my practice. Maybe it's checking for HIV and sexually transmitted infections. They've got ton of different tests. They have COVID tests, you guys. I was skeptical, but I gave it a try. I'm like, I need to see this for myself. Like I'm willing a lot of times, sometimes this is like business tools or, you know, technology things.

I'll try it out for you guys. And then if it's great, I'll tell you about it. So in this case, I was like, I'm going to be the Guinea pig. I'm going to try this on my own body. So I did. And it's good. I'm going to tell you about my experience, but if you want to check it out right now, cause you're curious, you can go to healthcoachpower.com/labtests and use code health20 to save 20% on all the tests at let's get checked, which is the name of the service. And it's widely available to countries around the world. I was shocked. I thought it would just be US, maybe US/Canada. Okay, maybe US, Canada and I don't know the UK. No. It's like tons of countries all over the world where you can do this. So, um, by the way, if you use my link, it is an affiliate link. I just want to be super transparent about that. But I did not agree. When I was asked to become an affiliate. I did not agree until I tried it out for myself.

Kristen saying, hi, Michelle, do you think there is an advantage to referring out to a functional medicine doctor for lab tests? Kristen, I think that if it is brand new territory, if you're a client, you don't know what's going on, you have no frame of reference. They've never had the test done before. You don't know anything about the test. Yes, they should be talking well, they can still bring their lab results from the service to a doctor. But regardless where the test results come from, they should be talking to their doctor about them to get them properly, read and interpreted and discussed, you know, the way that it should be done, it should not be you and your client going, huh? Looks like you got this disease and that disease, you know, that would not be cool. But if it's a matter of saying, hey, my vitamin D was here.

My doctor said it should be there. Get the micronutrient test, check it out for yourself. You know, that way the client can see exactly how far they've come in X period of time. And for that, I don't think there's any reason to refer to a functional medicine doctor, which can often cost big bucks if you could just do it yourself. Okay. So here's what happens when you, or when your client orders their test like I did, I went online. I chose my test. It was very, very simple. It wasn't like all medical-y and scary. It was like something I could totally understand anybody. Could I entered the discount code, you know, just like you're shopping for a pair of shoes. And then a few days later I got a box in the mail. Not very big, fit in my mailbox and it was very discreet.

So depending on what test you're doing, maybe you don't want everyone to know about it. Maybe you live in an apartment building or something and everybody sees your mail. It's not like it arrives with a big, like, you know, sexually transmitted infection label on it or, you know, thyroid panel or whatever it is. It's nobody's business except yours. So it's a very discreet box. Um, nothing's going to like give away what's going on inside. And then when I opened up the box, there were very, very clear directions was like, step one, step two. So I wanted to try like all the things. So I ordered tests where I had to provide both, um, blood sample and a urine sample. The urine was easy enough. It was like a little carton that you fill up. So no big deal there. The blood sample, I was like, how is this going to get done?

I was really curious. It was done with the finger prick, like what diabetics do to test their blood sugar? Like, you know, that's just the norm. It happens a bunch of times a day. I remember doing... even when I was pregnant and they told me I had gestational diabetes, I had to do the finger prick. Right. It's a very common thing, no big needle, no huge amount of blood. It wasn't like the vials and vials that they take when I normally get my blood drawn. So it was fairly easy thanks to those really simple directions. And there was even like a little disinfectant wipe and a band aid included. So it was like everything that you need was right in there. And then I just put my samples right, where they were supposed to go. And this little packing crate that they sent, shipped it back with the prepaid label that they also sent. And then a couple of days passed. Boom results showed up on my phone actually, cause there's an app and your results can show up right there.

So, they were available to me quickly. I was able to read and understand them because I don't know if you guys have ever looked at lab tests, but sometimes you're like, I have no idea what this says. There's just numbers everywhere and everything is abbreviated and it can be a little bit confusing. So I just wanted to let you know that when you get the results, it's, it's not meant for doctors. It's meant for everyday people. So it's worded in a way that anybody can understand, you know, what, tests positive, what tests negative, et cetera. And there's even a team of nurses that you can then if you want to, you can talk to about treatment options.

So I want to encourage you guys to at least give this service a try, just so that you understand what's out there and what's available. This is relatively new. It's not something I've heard much about in all my years of health coaching. So, do what I did, pick something that like, maybe you've been wondering about or something that's going on in your own health order, a test you're going to save 20% when you use code health20 and go to healthcoachpower.com/labtests, and then just see how it works. You know, see what the process is like, see what the results are like. You can bring them, you can talk to your doctor about it. It's pretty cool. Again, I'm an affiliate for the company. That's because I tried it. I saw how it worked and I saw a huge potential for using this with my clients.

And frankly for myself, I hardly ever go to the doctor, right? So this is super cool because sometimes I'm like nerdy and I want to know, I want to like check my iron levels. I want to check things on my own. So I would say, give it a try. And then the next time that a situation comes up with your health coaching clients, you can offer this at-home testing service as an alternative for them. And then you can even share that link and that discount code, if you like. So again, it's healthcoachpower.com/labtests and use coach not coach code health20. I'm just going to drop that in the comments here for those of you that are joining live. So what questions do you have for me about this? Cause I know I have a lot of questions. When I first heard about this, I had the benefit of being on the phone with the company and having them explain all of this to me. I obviously don't represent them, but I can do my best to answer for you. Let me take a sip of water.

One thing that I was wondering about is cost. Kristen said, I have had clients ask if this is cheaper than just getting the test order through their doctor and having insurance pay for it. Um, I think it's going to depend on the test. Um, lot of times doctors won't run tests because they'll say insurance is not going to cover it. And then other doctors will, right? It's just kind of odd that sometimes the doctor will somehow be able to get it covered and another won't. So I don't know, I think there's subjectivity there, but if your insurance is going to cover a test, then it's going to cover the test and it's going to be cheaper for you. If insurance is not going to cover the test, it's the same way here. Insurance does not cover this service. So you're paying out of pocket. So, then I was curious, well, how much do these lab tests costs?

Cause you know, like when you're in the hospital and they give your kid like Tylenol in the hospital, it costs like $500 for a dose of Tylenol. And you're like, next time, I'm just going to go home and give them Tylenol when we get home. So, it's kind of like that. I'm like how much do these tests costs if you are just buying them directly? So I didn't go through like every single test available on the site, but as I was, you know, going through and looking at everything, what I noticed where that test range, the test range from like $89, if you want to get like one or two things tested the ones that were a little more complete, you're getting multiple readouts, multiple tests done and like, a kit. Um, those are a couple hundred dollars, maybe 200 or $300.

So it depends what you're ordering. Um, but insurance does not cover this. This would be going outside the insurance model. Another question that I had was about availability in New York state. And I don't know about other States, but I know that different testing that can be done via mail So, order. Isn't that kind of an old term mail order anyway, um, is not legal in New York. I had always heard that. So even if there was something that you could do, you can't do it if you live in New York and I bet there were other States, I don't know, cause I live in New York, but there's other States where stuff wasn't available either. So I asked, is this available New York? And I was shocked that the answer was yes, it's available in all States. And like I said, multiple countries throughout the world, like a long list of countries throughout the world.

So if you have a client who lives in Europe, it's cool. If you got somebody who lives in Australia, it's cool. They will do it there too. So it's like a brave new world, you guys, and we can all, uh, we can all be getting testing this way. So that's super cool. Um, another question that I had on behalf of you, all I asked, can anybody become an affiliate because with other brands, you know, and I've probably, you've heard me talk about this before. If you want to become an affiliate for a brand yourself, you can sometimes just sign up on their website. That's not the case here. Um, it's by invitation only to become an affiliate for let's get checked, but I am working on a way maybe for coaches in my community to get an invitation. So, you can potentially add this as an income stream to your own business.

If that's something that you're particularly interested in, just shoot us an email, support@healthcoachpower.com. And let me know that that's something you're interested in. I can't make any promises, but you know, maybe as they grow and their program grows, you know, this could be something that's available to us in the future. So if you have any other questions, I will be happy to tell you whatever I know about this. It was like my big breaking news for you guys this week. I had just like dropped it in a comment earlier in the week, just like, Oh, by the way, someone was asking about lab testing and I just dropped the link. And so many of you guys clicked on that link. I was like, okay, everybody wants to know more. So I'm glad that we had this discussion today. I'm going to use our remaining time to answer just a few other questions that have come into our group lately.

And of course, anything else that you have for me if you're here live. So, um, Dina was asking, does anyone know of any Health Coach virtual positions available for hire? I graduated from IIN last March and then just put our little one in pre-K and then I finally had some availability. Congratulations, Dina. That is such a great feeling. What I wanted to say too, is that in my experience, while there are companies online positions that will hire health coaches, they're a little bit, few, and far between finding a position like that. They tend to pay next to nothing. And you might be working with, you know, lots of different clients for very short period of time and you know, just not earning very much. So I wanted to just let you know that that's kind of the, the lay of the land and the health coaches that I know who are successful, who are earning a full-time salary or like a good part-time salary, really like a professional salary, they are working for themselves. So, I'm always kind of a proponent of you guys starting your own thing, finding your own clients and learning how to make the money that you deserve for being the professional that you are. That's my 2 cents on that.

Okay. We also have a question from Elena that I definitely wanted to answer. She just said, hey everybody, who else is on Clubhouse? Have you guys heard about Clubhouse? Maybe one day I'll do a whole episode about it, but I don't really know enough about it yet. It's brand new. It's a new social media platform currently only available if you're on an iPhone or an iPad. Cause I think it's an app that only works with Mac OS. Um, but it's pretty cool. It's a way to connect with the... It reminds me, it reminds me of like conference calls, like old style conference calls, but like very modern conference calls.

So, people host these rooms and it's audio only. And you can hang out and can learn about different topics that you could share about different topics. It's very collaborative. It has none of like the likes and loves and comments of Facebook and Instagram. It's not like that. It strips away all those extras. It's very simple. It is really, truly about connecting and having conversations. So, anyway, I am on clubhouse. I was lucky enough to get an invite because it is by invite only. And then when you join, you get a couple of invitations that you can share with your friends. So, you guys can find me on clubhouse. I am at MLeotta or you know, just type in my name and you'll find me. Um, I'm all out of invitations right now. But as I get more, I will be using them to invite more and more health coaches to join the platform as well.

Because I think there's a lot of potential, especially when the platform is brand new. It's easier to make some headway with it. If you join Instagram today and you have like three followers and other people have like 4 billion followers, you're like, how'd they do that. They probably joined Instagram like 10 years ago or whenever it started, right? But when you're new to a platform, everyone's on like a level playing field, um, you can become known. So it's a really good time to jump in there. If you are someone who has an invitation from a friend, I would encourage you to do that and find me, and then we'll play, we'll play and see what we can make of this new platform.

Okay, let me do one or two more questions here. This one comes from Monica. She said, do you have a company that you use for getting signed documents from clients like Hello Sign, which have you tried? Which do you use and why? Monica I've heard of people using DocuSign. I've never used that. The only platform I ever used for getting documents signed is Practice Better. And I talk about practice better all the time, because practice better does like all the things that you need from scheduling clients to accepting payments and having clients sign documents as well. So I would highly encourage you guys to check out Practice Better because that will solve all of your problems. It's like that meme. That's like I got 99 problems and coconut oil solved, you know, 89 of them or whatever. It's like that I've got 99 problems and practice better solved most of them.

Maya's asking, does anyone share their Fullscript Dispensary link with people in their community who are following them, but are not their clients? Yes, absolutely. And if you guys don't know what Maya's talking about, you can sign up for a Fullscript account as well. If you go to healthcoachpower.com/fullscript. F U L L script, that is only available in the US and Canada, I believe. But you can have an online dispensary where you earn anytime somebody orders, supplements, and there's all different brands, all the best brands are available. Like medical grade brands were good stuff. Anyway, you get a link to send people to, you can send your clients there. If they need to get a supplement, maybe they do their right. And they find out that their iron is low. Maybe they're, uh, they do their, vitamin D tests. They find out that's low. They've run out of supplements that they had before, but they know how much they're supposed to take. Great. They can re-up and buy more supplements. But if they do it through your link, they'll get a discount and you earn a commission. Anyway, Maya, I share my link all over the place because even if someone's not my client, I'll say, you know, Hey, if you go to my online dispensary, you can see all of the products and brands that I like.

And then once they get there, it's like, you can separate into categories. So I have like a category for anxiety. I have a category for digestion, all the things that I tend to talk about. And then the brands that I actually use and buy myself are in there, um, products that I think are good ones all or like in inside those categories. So people like to look, they don't always buy. Sometimes they buy, but they always are interested in what brands and products I'm using. So it's a good way to get them there. And then once they're there, um, some of them will go ahead and make a purchase. Why not? Why not share it with everybody, right? There's no problem with doing that.

All right. So, I want to say thank you to everybody for joining me today. And as always, your questions are welcome inside our Facebook group at health coach power, community.com. And if you try this at home lab testing, let me know what your experience is like. This is new. I'm very keen to hear what it's like for you. Anyway, I'll see you inside the Facebook group. Have a great rest of your week, everybody.