Hello To All:

Everyone that goes to their doctor inevitably gets blood drawn to analyze aspects of their health. It is an integral part of the doctor diagnosing the state of your health. One of our clients (and he is not alone in this) thought that the cost for the lab to process the results were included in the doctor’s bill. WRONG! Actually, while the doctor might charge for drawing the blood, it is the lab that processes the blood and provides the results to the doctor. In reality, your doctor does three things:

  1. Orders the test;
  2. Either has the blood drawn in her office or sends you to the lab for this; and
  3. Reviews the results after the sample has been processed by the lab.

Some doctors’ offices don’t even bother to call unless there is something abnormal in the results. Even then, it is usually a medical assistant making the call rather than the doctor. This lack of personal contact is disheartening, but we’ll save that topic for another day. The lab has a separate charge for processing the blood and it has NOTHING to do with your doctor’s bill (don’t blame the doctor if the lab’s bill is ridiculously high). You owe two bills– one to the doctor for their services and the other to the lab for its services.

Our client had chosen a doctor in his insurance company’s network (good move), as the rate for an in-network provider is generally much less than one that is out-of-network. Therefore, the amount he had to pay out of pocket was much less because the in-network rate was less. The doctor gave him the name of two labs to choose from to go to have the tests performed. Fortunately, he had learned to choose the in-network lab.

The lab sent him a bill for $1,200!!!!! He was panicked when he saw the lab bill, It turned out that the actual amount the lab agreed to accept which had been negotiated with the insurance company was $180!! So, he ended up paying 25% of the $180 instead of several hundred dollars of $1,200 had he used the other lab. There’s a important lessons here-KNOW your insurance plan. Until next time, we at Human Health Advocates wish everyone good health!