A urinalysis is a common and frequently used diagnostic test that may be done in an inpatient or outpatient setting. A doctor usually orders a urinalysis as part of a routine health check-up or prior to certain medical procedures. If you or your doctor suspect that you may be experiencing symptoms of a chronic medical condition or disease, a urinalysis may be ordered to help identify any underlying issues.
Existing medical conditions and diseases may be monitored via several diagnostic tools that include urinalysis. Some medications that may impact the liver and kidneys after prolonged use may require frequent urinalysis in order to catch any issues as early as possible.
How is a Urinalysis Performed?
Typically, someone who needs to submit urine for testing will do so at a health care facility such as a lab or doctor’s office. The reason a person needs to undergo a urinalysis will determine if they need to fast or not before submitting a sample of their urine for review.
Persons who are able to collect the urine on their own will be provided the use of a bathroom, any clinical equipment they need and instructions on how to collect the urine safely and cleanly. In cases where a person is unable to collect their urine for testing, a health care professional may use a temporary catheter to collect the sample they require.
Once the sample has been collected, it will usually be examined by lab technicians in three distinct ways. A visual examination looks for any clear signs of infection, such as cloudiness or poor color or odor. A dipstick test will reveal any abnormalities with the chemical profile of a person’s urine, and a microscopic exam can help identify whether levels of any blood cells, bacteria, or yeast are within acceptable ranges of normal.
The results of a urinalysis are usually not available immediately and may require a few days to a week or more to be processed and reported to your physician. In emergency circumstances, such as during a hospital stay while undergoing treatment for an acute condition, results may be available within a few hours.
Medicare Coverage for Urinalysis
Diagnostic tests like a urinalysis are typically covered under Medicare Part B. In order to qualify for Medicare Part B coverage, a urinalysis must be deemed as medically necessary and ordered by an approved physician. A urinalysis for an inpatient recipient in the hospital or skilled nursing facility would fall under Medicare Part A coverage terms. Urine screenings for employment and other non-medical reasons would not be eligible for coverage under Medicare benefits.
With Medicare Part B coverage, most medically necessary diagnostic tests do not require copays or coinsurances. Part A benefits cover diagnostic tests for inpatient hospital stays. It’s important to note that the health care professionals and facility that perform a urinalysis must be Medicare-approved providers for coverage to apply.