St. Luke offers lower-cost testing
St. Luke Hospital now offers a cost-saving way to have laboratory work done.
Patients can order their own laboratory work without an appointment and save money.
Insurance or none, the patient pays a reduced charge for the test.
Hours for Direct Access Lab are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays except holidays.
People who want to monitor their own health with such tests as hemoglobin A1C for glucose levels or a comprehensive metabolic panel, which measures glucose, electrolytes, cholesterol, protein levels, and liver function, can order their own tests and avoid paying higher charges.
Ordered directly and paid up front, these two tests would cost $65. Billed to insurance, the charge would be $335.
“What we charge is not what we get paid,” marketing director Roger Schroeder said. “I wish it were that simple. Because insurance pays hospitals a percent of our billed charges, we set up our charges at the ‘usual, customary and reasonable’ level. The $335 is never what we are paid.”
Schroeder said Direct Access laboratory charges are less because it costs the hospital less when fees are paid up-front, and because the service is only available when the laboratory is staffed for outpatients.
Since fees are not billed to insurance companies, charges aren’t applied to a medical insurance deductible.
Test costs range from $10 to $50 each.
“Lab staff can answer questions about the Direct Access tests if you need help,” Schroeder said.
Patients fill out their laboratory order, register and pay at the business office, and go to the laboratory to have blood drawn.
Results can be picked up within 24 hours or sent to the patient’s health care provider on request.
A critical result will automatically be sent to the provider, if known, or to St. Luke emergency department, which will contact the patient.