staff photo by phyllis zorn
Lab manager Brenda Rhodes puts a control sample and a vitamin D test in a testing machine.
Self-ordered lab tests
can save patients money
St. Luke Hospital has added seven laboratory tests to the list of those patients can order themselves to save money on the price of laboratory work.
Direct access laboratory services, available at the hospital for about a year, allow a patient to skip insurance filing, order their own tests, and pay a reduced price. No appointment is needed.
The seven tests range in price from $15 to $30, and are in addition to 30 tests previously available through direct access laboratory with prices ranging from $10 to $50.
Laboratory manager Brenda Rhodes said direct access laboratory testing has been a popular option with patients, and the additional tests were added because patients have specifically asked for them.
“We’ve had requests for these tests,” Rhodes said. “People with no insurance can get their lab work done and take care of themselves. And people with high deductibles can use it and save money.”
Four of the new tests are related to anemia. The first is iron and total iron-binding capacity, or TIBC, which checks the level of iron in the blood and the amount of transferring, a protein that carries iron in the blood, present.
The second test for patients with anemia is a ferritin test. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron and allows it to be used when needed.
The third test related to anemia is a folate test. Folate, also called folic acid, is an essential vitamin. Anemia causes folate deficiency.
The fourth test available for people with anemia is a vitamin B12 test. Pernicious anemia is the most common cause of B12 deficiency.
A new coagulation test, partial thromboplastin time, or PTT, is used to monitor blood thinner therapy or test for bleeding disorders or blood clots.
Two new blood chemistry tests have also been added. The first is a creatine kinase test, called a CPK test. It checks for, or monitors, muscle damage.
A rapid H. Pylori Igg test checks for presence of a bacteria that causes peptic ulcers.