-- Day after demoralizing day, Dr. Doug Lefton watched uninsured patients leave his office needing laboratory tests but unlikely to have them done because of the cost. So the Fairlawn, Ohio, family physician decided to do something about it. Working with other doctors and an online marketer, Lefton devised a way to slash the cost of lab tests not only for his patients but for almost anyone, anywhere.
Working with the Summit County Medical Society
, Lefton struck a deal with LabCorp, one of the largest testing companies in the country, and PrePaidLab
. The arrangement 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. People who would ordinarily not be able to afford lab work are paying almost identical the amount the government pays for Medicaid.
"The prices are spectacularly low for something you can get on the market yourself," says Tom Patton, CEO of PrePaidLab, an online marketer of lab tests. For example, a lipid panel (cholesterol test) can cost as much as $148 for an uninsured person. The same test is available for less than $18 through the site."
Here's how it works: Patients needing lab work can go to the medical society's website and click on the big yellow box in the middle of the page. From there they choose the tests their doctor says they need
, give the doctor's fax number, pay with a credit card and print out the order. They then take the order to any LabCorp location in 47 states and have the work done. Results are sent securely to the patient and the doctor, often within 24 hours.
"It's like using Amazon.com to buy your lab tests," Lefton said.
HT: Daniel Sellers