The clinical testing company Quest Diagnostics will now automatically conduct confirmatory molecular tests following a positive serological hepatitis C virus (HCV) test result, MedPage Today reports. In the past, Quest and most other labs have waited for clinicians to order the molecular test, which typically would require a second clinic visit and blood draw.

Cutting out this second step will eliminate the chance that individuals who test positive for hep C will not return for the confirmatory testing that is recommended by medical guidelines.  

For those insured by Medicare, this new protocol will add $58 to the testing cost for positive serological results. Medicare reimburses $19 for the cost of the serologic test. The cost of each type of test has not changed.

To read the MedPage Today article, click here.

To read a statement from Quest Diagnostics, click here.