Designated Diagnostic Providers

Using your benefits for outpatient lab and major imaging services

Maybe you've heard about Designated Diagnostic Provider 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 and major imaging services. Major imaging services are CTs, MRA/MRIs, PET and nuclear medicine scans. Let's go over what it is and how it works.

What is a Designated Diagnostic Provider?

Designated Diagnostic Providers are laboratory providers and imaging centers that meet certain quality and efficiency requirements. If you have a Designated Diagnostic Provider benefit, you’ll have the highest level of coverage — and likely save money — when you use Designated Diagnostic Providers for your outpatient lab and/or major imaging services.

How do I know if I have Designated Diagnostic Provider benefits?

Designated Diagnostic Provider benefits are included with specific plan types. If you have these benefits, you should have received a new health plan ID card that shows that you have Designated Diagnostic Provider benefits.

Sign in to learn if Designated Diagnostic Provider benefits apply to your health planIf you have Designated Diagnostic Provider benefits and you don’t use a Designated Diagnostic Provider, you may have a higher cost-share and end up paying more out-of-pocket for your outpatient lab and/or major imaging services. 

How do I find a Designated Diagnostic Provider?

To find a Designated Diagnostic Provider 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 Designated Diagnostic Provider. Here's an example:

When do I need to use a Designated Diagnostic Provider for lab tests or major imaging services?

Using a Designated Diagnostic Provider may help you save money on many common lab and/or major imaging services. If you need lab or major imaging services, be sure to tell your doctor which Designated Diagnostic Provider to use. Designated Diagnostic Provider benefits apply to most outpatient services, including:

Lab services

  • Acute hepatitis panel
  • Blood draws
  • Blood glucose tests
  • Comprehensive metabolic panel
  • Drug tests
  • Electrolyte panel
  • General health panel
  • Hepatic function panel
  • Insulin tolerance panel
  • Metabolic tests/panels
  • Obstetric panel (including HIV testing)
  • Rapid strep tests
  • Renal function panel

Major imaging services

  • MRI/MRAs
  • CT and PET scans
  • Nuclear medicine scans

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Designated Diagnostic Providers

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