ASU offers lab tests in first university partnership with Theranos

ASU has become the first university to partner with Theranos, Inc. to offer lab tests at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation clinic at the downtown Phoenix campus.

A California based company, Theranos was founded by Elizabeth Holmes in 2003 with the goal of providing lab tests for disease detection and prevention at affordable, transparent prices.

Theranos was closely involved in the passing of the Direct Access Law, which Arizona passed on July 3, making it the first state in the nation to institute a comprehensive framework in which people have direct access to common lab tests on the Direct Access Test List, paid out of pocket without insurance eligibility or a health care provider’s order.

“This law is an important milestone in building a health care system that empowers people to take control of their own health and work with their physicians to prevent disease and detect it early, when there is still time to change outcomes,” Holmes said in an press release. “Thousands of Arizonans are struggling to afford the high cost of traditional lab tests. Others are forced to go to an emergency room for lab testing since locations and hours for labs are so inconvenient.”

With Theranos, lab tests come at prices 50 percent to 80 percent cheaper than Medicare reimbursement rates and are listed openly on the test menu of the Theranos website.

In 2013, Theranos partnered with Walgreens to open the first Theranos Wellness Centers in Arizona and has since expanded to 41 stores across the state.

Now Theranos has teamed up with ASU in launching its first university partnership to offer blood tests to ASU students, faculty and the community.

There is a common misconception that services at ASU’s Community Health Center Clinic are only available to those in connection with the university, however these services are available to the public, new Theranos lab tests included.

The College of Nursing and Health Innovation’s Director of Strategic Marketing Beth Smith said in an email that ASU’s partnership with Theranos was a result of a shared interest in innovation and expansion of each organization’s prospective goals.

“It is my understanding that ASU’s reputation as a forward-thinking organization was already well-known to Theranos’ leadership. ASU’s creation of A New American University, its commitment to innovation, and the depth of its expertise in various health disciplines, created a strong connection from the outset,” Smith said. “The College of Nursing and Health Innovation was invited to meet with Theranos representatives to learn more about their proprietary technology and the innovative thinking that propels the organization.”

Smith said that she believes the partnership will increase the clientele at the downtown clinic and generate interest in preventative care.

“We count it an honor to be the first university to partner with Theranos,” she said.

According to Smith, discussions of expanding the partnership to the other ASU health clinics are underway, but further details of when the services will become available have yet to be released.

“After meeting with Theranos, I was so impressed with the innovative technology they developed,” said Dean Teri Pipe of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation. “I believe strongly in their vision to provide transparency of cost and higher levels of patient involvement in health care.”

Reach the reporter at icastil3@asu.edu or follow @isabella_m_cast on twitter 

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