Designated Diagnostic Providers (DDPs)

Using your benefits for outpatient lab services

Maybe you've heard about Designated Diagnostic Provider (DDP) benefits or maybe it's a new benefit to you. If you get your health insurance through your employer, it's important to know the details because it may affect your coverage for outpatient lab services. Let's go over what it is and how it works. 

What is a Designated Diagnostic Provider?

Designated Diagnostic Providers (DDPs) are laboratory providers that meet certain quality and efficiency requirements. If you have a DDP benefit, you’ll have the highest level of coverage — and likely save money — when you use a DDP for your outpatient lab services. 

How do I know if I have DDP benefits?

You can sign in to, call the number on your member ID card or look for the DDP icon on your card to learn if DDP benefits apply to you. If you have DDP benefits and you don’t use a DDP, you may have a higher cost-share and end up paying more out-of-pocket for your outpatient lab services. 

How do I find a DDP?

To find a DDP near you, sign in to and select Find Care and Costs or use the UnitedHealthcare app. Look for the green check that indicates a provider is a DDP. Here's an example:

When do I need to use a DDP for lab tests or services?

Using a DDP may help you save money on many common lab services. If you need lab work, be sure to tell your doctor which DDP to use. DDP benefits apply to most outpatient services, including:

  • Blood draws

  • Blood glucose tests

  • Metabolic tests/panels

  • Rapid strep tests

  • Comprehensive metabolic panel

  • General health panel

  • Electrolyte panel

  • Obstetric panel (including HIV testing)

  • Renal function panel

  • Acute hepatitis panel

  • Hepatic function panel

  • Drug tests

  • Insulin tolerance panel

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about DDPs

Looking for other ways to save money on health care?

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Designated Diagnostic Provider (DDP) is a special designation provided to some categories of providers in certain states and funding types in recognition of their efficiency and quality. Some benefit plans or certificates of coverage will limit or reduce benefits if services are provided by in-network providers who are not also identified as a DDP.  Please note, DDP is not applicable in all states and/or coverage options. If DDP is not applicable, the DDP designation or lack of designation will have no impact on your benefits. Please refer to your schedule of benefits to determine if DDP designation is applicable to your coverage. If DDP is applicable and you are having difficulty finding a DDP provider on this search tool or have other questions, you may contact us by calling the number on your ID card.