Where to get a 2-step TB test?
May 15, 2014 11:58 AM   Subscribe

I need a 2-step tb test. Where do I get one?

My graduate program requires a 2-step tb test. I do not have a primary care doctor and I'm aging out of my health insurance in late June so I want to get this done now.

What I'm confused on is I don't see where I can get a 2-step, I only see references for the normal test. The health department doesn't do them. I don't know what to do. The universities (both local and the one I'm attending) do them but I'm not a student (I graduated several years ago). If the price isn't too steep, I'll do it at places that don't take health insurance, I just am confused on this whole 2-step thing.
posted by Aranquis to Health & Fitness (15 answers total)
I think(?) all TB tests are two-step, in that they prick your skin with something and then you have to come back a few days later and they see what happened. Obviously my knowledge of this is super limited, but the few times I've had it done it's always involved two visits.
posted by heresiarch at 11:59 AM on May 15, 2014

A 2-step tb test requires 4 visits, a test, a reading, another test, and another reading just to clarify.
posted by Aranquis at 12:03 PM on May 15, 2014

A two step TB test could mean either of the following

1) A normal PPD test where you go in to a doctor's office/ blood lab, they inject you, and you follow up a couple days later to see whether you've had any reaction at the injection site.

2) Same as above, but now instead of doing this once, you do it twice - you get 2x the number of injections (usually a week apart) and follow up twice.
posted by rippersid at 12:06 PM on May 15, 2014

1. Have you asked the universities if you can get it done there even though you're not a student?
2. Have you asked your grad program for a recommendation on where to get it done? If all their students are required to get it, they probably know where it can be done.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 12:09 PM on May 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

You can get it at Quest Diagnostics, 4230 Burnham Ave., Ste. 144, Las Vegas, NV.

Are you in Nevada by any chance?
posted by Houstonian at 12:18 PM on May 15, 2014

A past question suggests the OP is in Ohio. If so, I wonder what county in Ohio? I may be able to help.
posted by mean square error at 12:21 PM on May 15, 2014

It would help greatly if you can clarify where you are located. [Onn preview: I see others are speculating Ohio?]

First off, I agree that you should try what agents of KAOS suggested and see if the University will do it for you (even for a fee), since they certainly know what they will be satisfied with. Or, at least call the University clinic and ask if they could recommend something? I suspect they get the bulk of their test results from 3-4 local places and could tell you what those are.

If that is impractical for some reason, I would look up a public or non-profit clinic in your area before going straight to a lab (BTW, Quest has offices everywhere, you don't need to go to Nevada - google a local one). The reason being, the lab is a for-profit company that will bill you one-off, whereas the clinic may even USE that lab, but they get a bulk rate. To find clinics, try looking up "travel clinics," "public health clinics," and "TB testing [your county / city]."

Good luck.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 12:27 PM on May 15, 2014

Erie County Community Health Center, 420 Superior Street, Sandusky, OH 44870
By appointment, $15 per test.

Note they have a notice about nationwide shortages. That notice, when opened (pdf), is dated August of last year. So, call and check. They offer other tests as a substitute, and tell you what to do if you are required to take the test by your school or employer..
posted by Houstonian at 12:27 PM on May 15, 2014

(Quest's website states they only do the two-step test at the single Nevada location.)
posted by Houstonian at 12:28 PM on May 15, 2014

Another location: Medina County Health Dept., 4800 Ledgewood Dr., Medina, OH 44256

Previously, health tests for cheap in Columbus, OH.
posted by Houstonian at 12:30 PM on May 15, 2014

If the second step is a repeat PPD (the skin test), then you should be able to present the results of two consecutive PPDs, and those can be obtained basically everywhere (including Minute Clinic-esque places at pharmacies).

If the second step is a chest X-ray (the more "definitive" TB test), then you will need to go through a doctor or clinic.
posted by telegraph at 1:02 PM on May 15, 2014

Once you get it, if you have any issues with the interpretation it, this website comes in handy:

posted by cacofonie at 1:30 PM on May 15, 2014

I just did this as part of a new volunteer gig at a clinic. It is a little confusing! A 2-step TB test is simply a normal TB test, repeated. So you should be able to go to any place that offers TB tests, and then explain that you need to come back for a second one within whatever amount of time because you're required to get a 2-step test. So this is what it will look like:

Step 1a: Go get injection placed
Step 1b: Go get injection read within 48-72 hours of step 1a

Step 2a: Go get injection placed a 2nd time
Step 2b: Go get injection read within 48-72 hours of step 2a
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:43 PM on May 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yes, I just did this at my doctor's office and they only billed me for the first 'step' (first injection). I agree that this should be easy, maybe try explaining what you need? If they do a regular TB test they should be able to do a two-step, as it's the same thing, done twice in a row.
posted by queens86 at 2:28 PM on May 15, 2014

Yep, any doctor's office that does a TB test should be able to do this for you. Another place that would be familiar with these is any occupational health clinic---US Healthworks has locations in Ohio.
posted by assenav at 12:53 AM on May 16, 2014

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