Third Time’s a Charm? (Or how much blood for one test)

As I mentioned in an earlier entry, we were being charged hundreds of dollars for a blood test at the University’s Cancer Center. So we got our latest blood test done at an outside lab. Many trouble ensued. I called my oncologist’s office many times, but they did not get the results. The doctor’s visit was postponed by a week. Then still more phone calls were made to ensure that the report was there. Then on the day of my visit, the doctor looked at the report, and couldn’t make anything out of it!

As I also mentioned in the previous blog entry, the test for this cancer has not been standardized. Not only the format of the report from the outside lab different, the test was done with a different control gene. This made the test not comparable with the ones I had in the past. So the doctor asked me to get another blood test done, this time at the same Cancer Center Lab. It’s fortunate that we got a verbal commitment that my insurance coverage would be processed as in-network.

A week later, when I called the doctor’s office to get my blood test results, her secretary found out that there was none! Somehow, the test request was simply never input into the computer, and the blood sample they took did get analyzed at all! You’d think somebody would be asking questions about a blood sample that was drawn for no apparent reason, wouldn’t you?

Any way, a third blood sample was drawn for this doctor’s visit and I hope all will turn out well.

In the mean time, we got good news (sort of) from the University Hospital. 14 groups of physicians have signed multi-year contracts with the insurance company; out of these, 3 of them rescinded their termination with the insurance. The pathology group, which caused our decision to get the lab results from outside of the University, was in the process of doing so. Let’s hope that not too many patients’ health interest is hurt in the interim.

Upon receiving the notice, however, we got some new worries. My oncologist is not obviously in one of the 14 groups of physicians.

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