Shopping for health care — here’s what one woman does

Shopping for health care — here’s what one woman does

Have you ever been stuck paying a really high fee for a lab test? You might be surprised to learn that some patients are shopping for health care — pricing out laboratory work, blood tests, and prescriptions before even heading to the doctor. Here’s what one patient commented on Facebook, and how we chronicled her […]

How much do lab tests cost: $9 or $275 with insurance? Or, how to shop for health care

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much do lab tests cost: $9 or $275 with insurance? Or, how to shop for health care

When my TED talk was posted again recently on Facebook, with prominent mention of disparities in lab test costs, there were a lot of comments. This one stood out, so I’m putting it here as part of our “A friend writes” series. She’s in the Knoxville, Tenn., area. “Yup!!! “I had a panel of tests […]

Blood tests can be pricey: Here’s how to argue when you get a $3,000 bill

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Blood tests can be pricey: Here’s how to argue when you get a $3,000 bill

Blood tests can cost a lot — but one patient told us they were asked to pay $1,474.92 while Cigna, the insurer, paid nothing. The total charge for the blood tests at University of North Carolina Hospitals was $2,378. The patient said, “The UNC facility in question notably distinguished by Cigna as meeting certain quality […]

We’ve cracked the code on why blood test costs vary so much

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

We’ve cracked the code on why blood test costs vary so much

We know blood test costs vary widely between providers. Patients have paid hundreds or just above $30 for the same tests, often inexplicably, from different providers located very close to each other. But why? One of our partners seems to have cracked the code. “When UnitedHealthcare exited the Affordable Care Act exchange in Louisiana last […]

Blood test ordering: LabCorp to let consumers order own blood tests

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Blood test ordering: LabCorp to let consumers order own blood tests

Blood test ordering is about to change.”Consumers will soon be able to bypass their doctors by going online to order cholesterol readings, thyroid tests and other bloodwork from the biggest diagnostics company in the U.S.,” Bloomberg News reports. The story is a reflection of the changing world of lab work. A number of online providers […]

A groundbreaking lab test startup: A Drop of Blood. An Instant Diagnosis

(Updated 2022) The lab testing company Theranos failed in a dramatic scandal. Here’s our initial report about their work. There’s a new lab testing service that is quick, painless, inexpensive and  more accurate than the current systems, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. It’s called Theranos, and it was founded by a […]

Uninsured patients pay more: A first-person account

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Uninsured patients pay more: A first-person account

A friend came over to fill out our “tell us what you paid” forms. I’ve taken out some of the details, and left others. “Kidnapped by ambulance” might be a better headline for this, a $2,859 unreimbursed emergency room experience (and don’t miss the $1,699 blood test). I did know that uninsured people pay the […]