Calm down folks, you are still on ZoKnowsGaming.com and while this isn’t exactly in our normal topic of news, this was just too important for me to ignore. I read a post about this on CNN earlier and I felt like I had to share and since I have a medium to reach thousands of people I decided to do my part. This post is targeted to anyone who is in need of lab work and just can’t afford it for whatever reason. It doesn’t matter whether you have any health insurance or whether you are insured with a very high deductible. I am in no way associated with this service, just read about it and thought this was something that needed to be shared.
This story all starts with Dr. Doug Lefton, a family physician from Ohio. Dr. Lefton had become frustrated with watching both his uninsured as well as his insured patients leave his office needing laboratory test but not getting them done because of the cost. “It’s a little heartbreaking when you have someone in your office and they need a blood test and they won’t do it because they can’t afford it,” Lefton, 56, said. This story plays out all over the country everyday, but this doctor decided to do something about it and that’s what makes this story all the more rare. Dr. Lefton teamed up with other doctors and an online marketer and came up with a plan to slash the cost of lab tests for not just his own patients, but for just about anyone, anywhere in the country.
He contacted a local newspaper to try and drum up some support which ended up publishing a story that highlighted the exorbitant cost of lab tests. Shortly after the piece ran, he was contacted by Tom Patton, CEO of PrePaidLab LLC (not be confused with PrePaidLegal), an Avon Lake, Ohio, online marketer of lab tests. By working with the Summit County Medical Society, Dr. Lefton struck a deal with a company called LabCorp, one of the largest testing companies in the country, and PrePaidLab. The arrangement that they came to allows patients to get lab tests done for a small fraction of the normal cost, simply by ordering them through the medical society’s website.
The prices are amazingly cheap compared to what you would normally pay, even with insurance. For example, a lipid panel (cholesterol test) in Lefton’s area can cost as much as $148 for an uninsured person. The same test is available for less than $18 through the site ( I don’t know about you but that’s a hell of a difference to me). The process itself is actually pretty simple.
When you need lab work done, you just have to follow these steps:
- Go to the Summit County Medical Society website and click on the big yellow box in the middle of the page(it says uninsured click here but its open to anyone).
- From there they choose the tests that your doctor has told you that you need.
- Provide the doctor’s fax number, pay with a credit card and print out the order.
- Finally, take the order to any LabCorp location in 47 states and have the work done. Results are sent securely to you and the doctor, often within 24 hours.
This is really about people who want to get the lab test they need and don’t want to pay outrageous prices for it.The service is available to anyone (except for residents in New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island), it doesn’t matter if you have insurance or not. Besides ordering through the medical society’s website there really is no catch to this. There are no income guidelines.
The only thing that you need to be aware of is to make sure that your doctor is very clear in telling you which test you need to order because there are many from which to choose and it could be confusing. PrePaidLab set up a physicians’ portal so patients who lack computer access or don’t have a credit card can order their tests through the doctor’s office and pay cash there. For LabCorp and PrePaidLab its not all out of the goodness of their hearts, they agreed to accept the lower charges in exchange for the increased volume they expect to gain which I for one think is reasonable. This is a concept right out of basic business school, serve more people for less. What they are doing with lab test, I hope catches on with other vital services that may be really expensive for most people.
If you haven’t heard about this program that much yet don’t worry, it hasn’t been widely publicized yet and thus only about a 100 people per day are using the service. The purpose of me writing this post is to make more people aware of this excellent service in the hopes that it will make necessary lab work more accessible to everyone that needs it. So take this post, Digg it, Retweet It, Like It and whatever else you can think of to make sure we spread the word about this to as many people as possible in order to make sure we let them know that these are the kinds of solutions we need these days and that if given the choice we will take advantage of it.
Check out the service and let us know what you think. If you have used it already, please chime in and let us know about your experience with it. So what does everyone think of this, do you think this is as good an idea as we do?
Update: If you are thinking about giving PrePaidLab a try( and you should), we are sure you would like an EXTRA 15% off your purchase, check out our post for our special promo code.