Healthcare is big business, and you are the resource to be exploited. A milch cow in what looks to be a corral, but in reality has an open exit gate. You just have to glance up and walk out.
Have a high deductible health plan like I do? Then you pay the first $7000 or so every year before the plan pays out anything, excepting a very limited set of preventive care.
And while you can set up an HSA (Health Savings Account) with pre-tax dollars, those are still dollars you have to earn—they are not free.
What if you could spend just 1/3 to 1/7 as much? Pennis on the dollar. Maybe even at the same lab? You can.
See my experience report at the end of this post.
Healthcare mafia prices vs cash on the barrelhead
This pricing differential is why healthcare is so broken in America. A simple law could fix all this: “all healthcare providers must reimburse as in-network the costs incurred regardless of provider up to the amount that would be reimbursed for an in-network provider”—a lowest available pricing rule, like Medicare uses. But politicians are seemingly in on the game via campaign donations—follow the money. Doctors are lax in not pointing this out to their patients also. Yeah, I know they are busy, but shame on them all, because financial stress *is* a healthcare issue for many of us.
Below, I analyzed what I paid for a set of lab tests done a few weeks ago at my in-network health provider. I went through each and every test on my itemized bill.
If I go to my in-network provider, I pay 3X the price.
And that savings does not even include a doctor visit to order the tests (worthless to me at least). And while I am prepared to understand my own lab tests, you might not be. But you can take the results to your doctor and save a crapload of additional money by making one visit instead of two*. All you then should need is a medical virtual doctor AI to analyze it—not there yet but coming soon, I hope.
While the direct-testing route is out-of-network for deductible purposes, the tests could be done three times for the same cost. Weigh the costs over the year, but at least for me, I’d rather spend $163 than $470.
It is time for change in the healthcare-industrial complex, and this area is ripe for fixing.
* The latest healthcare rip-off among health care organizations is making you come in for a visit, and then ordering tests, then making you come in for another visit. Before, you got the tests and then the visit. Don’t be a milch cow!
OwnYourOwnLabs.com and similar services
Multiple services out there can do the tests, but check out OwnYourOwnLabs.com first, since they list their competitors for you right on the web site.
OwnYourOwnLabs does not have the lowest price on every test vs similar services, some are a little higher and some a little lower. And all are massively lower than my in-network provider,
The OwnYourOwnLabs shopping cart experience is simple, fast, convenient. You don’t need a doctor’s order. And you can get another 10% off for agreeing to anonymized data collection*.
* Anonymized data collection isn’t a thing—de-anonimization is common if an entity wants to do it, like the government, or researchers, etc.
See also: Hammer Nutrition: LABORATORY TESTING
Anon MD writes
Good piece on the “OwnYourOwnLabs” deal. I was concerned about who was actually performing the tests (like the Theranos scam), but LabCorp is a legitimate, registered and certified lab, one of the biggest in the country.
A lot of outpatient physician offices use LabCorp (er did when I was in private practice). I guess they are still using them. I believe the tests do require a physicians order. The front end company probably has a doctor ordering the test when requested online, much like the setups for selling viagra online. That’s why third party payers can’t be billed
If it works, good deal!
Looking at their web page (stated), it looks as if there is a charge for venipuncture.
WIND: it’s all 100% legitimate via LabCorp.
I’ve used OwnYourLabs five times now, over 6 months. Ordering the tests is easy as pie, as is the rest of it. Great stuff! This is the way healthcare ought to work, were the healthcare mafia not involved.
- Add tests you want to the cart and check out.
- A lab slip shows up in your email.
- Make your own appointment at LabCorp, get the blood drawn there,
- Results show up on the nationwide LabCorp portal web site.