How to advocate for myself with online blood testing



No one likes to be told what to do, but unfortunately many doctors and health

care practitioners don’t realize that that is exactly what is happening on a daily basis. Insurance coverage and medical algorithms often determine the tests that a health

care provider will order.


You can request that your family practitioner order a set of lab tests, but it is unfortunately a low likelihood that they will acquiesce to your request. Why?

Besides the algorithms and insurance restrictions mentioned above, they may

not know how to interpret the results. This puts their license at risk and no doctor

or health care practitioner wants to lose their license that cost them so much

time and money to obtain, even if it is for the good of the patient!


The good news is that there are now direct-to-consumer-labs that don’t require an

order from a practitioner. These labs often negotiate lab fees with national lab companies, and ordering through one of these is actually less cost than paying a

lab’s cash fees or paying for labs that insurance denies.


For example, a basic CBC may cost $15 with a direct-to-consumer-lab,

but insurance could be “charged” $100 for this and decide whether or not they

want to actually pay for it. If they deny payment, that cost goes to the patient.


Don’t let insurance and your health care provider be the reason you don’t get your

blood work evaluated. Advocate for yourself, and learn about your health risks before they become health problems.

References:

Forbes article on the benefits of direct-to-consumer lab testing: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedickman/2016/06/16/direct-to-consumer-clinical-lab-testing-wont-kill-us-it-will-make-us-stronger/#d304f1d284f1

Factors affecting laboratory use and prices: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4191351/


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