Have you ever been sick? If so, your first gut reaction might have been to call mom. After all, we all know that mom has an answer for everything. After a phone call to mom, you may have gone into your medicine cabinet and grabbed whatever you thought could help. If that doesn’t do the trick, you always have Google or Facebook for answers. However, when you exhaust all of your resources and you are still feeling sick, this is when you decide it might be best to call your doctor.
In this article, I am not going to try and explain why most people wait to call their doctor first for help (typically financial). Instead, I want to talk about what you might expect from your doctor’s visit.
- If you are a brand new patient, you will of course be expected to fill out intake paperwork and provide medical insurance information along with your ID. If you are a returning patient, those things will most likely already be on file.
- When you are taken back to the examination room, you will most likely have your vitals like blood pressure, weight, and temperature checked by an assistant.
- The assistant will also most likely take some notes down concerning your reason for the office visit. When the doctor arrives in your examination room, you should expect a comprehensive consultation regarding your current symptoms.
- After the consultation, the doctor will do one of two things:
- Prescribe you with a treatment plan (medication, rest, specialist consult, etc.)
- Order blood work
This last item – the ordering of blood work – I believe is what might prevent most people from calling their doctor first. You see, blood work is expensive (unless it is 100% covered by insurance). If you have horrible insurance or no insurance benefits, you could expect to pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars on blood work. For example, let’s look at a simple blood lipid (cholesterol) panel. This test could cost anywhere between $159 and $249 depending upon where you go to get it done. A simple A1C test for diabetes could cost anywhere between $39 and $59, and a prostate PSA test ranges between $72 and higher. By the time you add in the cost of the doctor’s visit + the lab test costs + the follow up doctor’s visit to review the results, you are looking at spending hundreds of dollars. This is assuming that your doctor runs all of the right blood tests. If they need to run additional tests you are looking at more time and money spent.
Personally, I do not agree with this. Blood tests should not be available to only those who can pay the high fee. That is why at Stanly Wellness Center, I work with a lab company to provide these exact same tests at a fraction of the cost. In fact, I can get a lipid panel run for only $9.65 (a savings of over $145), A1C test cost only $8.65 and a PSA test for only $24.93. In fact, a Comprehensive Wellness Profile test that includes CBC, Lipid profile, Urinalysis, complete Thyroid panel, Glucose, Vitamin-D, and more could cost over $1000 at your local lab or doctor’s office. It only cost my patients $199. And with a test this complete, the likelihood that you would require additional blood work is minimal.
If you are in need of blood work, call our office at 980-355-7600 to schedule your appointment. We look forward to helping you and your family.