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So I just had a "routine" physical examination a few weeks ago. All they did was knock my knees to test for reflex, take my blood pressure, temperature, look into my eyes with a light, measure my height & weight, and also had blood drawn to test for cholestrol, hiv, and whatever else they normally test for, and also get two immunizations (tetnus booster, and heptatits vaccine).

I got my bill two weeks later....the examination itself cost $197 which was fine. and the immunizations cost another $364. I paid the bill.

Then now i just got another bill 6 wks later for "routine lab services" for $912!!!!!! WTF!? Is this what blood tests normally cost? My crappy bcbs insurance is not gonna cover any of these routine lab services. Is that normal?

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cheapbrass said: So I just had a "routine" physical examination a few weeks ago. All they did was knock my knees to test for reflex, take my blood pressure, temperature, look into my eyes with a light, measure my height & weight, and also had blood drawn to test for cholestrol, hiv, and get two immunizations (tetnus booster, and heptatits vaccine).

I got my bill two weeks later....the examination itself cost $197 which was fine. and the immunizations cost another $364. I paid the bill.

Then now i just got another bill 6 wks later for "routine lab services" for $912!!!!!! WTF!? Is this what blood tests normally cost? My crappy bcbs insurance is not gonna cover any of these routine lab services. Is that normal?


makes ya wish you had gone to local health dept now and got it huh?

FrugalFreak said: makes ya wish you had gone to local health dept now and got it huh?Or call the insurance company to check if it was covered.

That seems way too high for blood work. Check with BC/BS to see if they have a breakdown for you. I'm lucky...my organization where I work provides me with a full phyiscal examination every two years from age 40 on. It saved a co-workers life a few years ago since they caught colon cancer in its early stages for him.

cheapbrass said: So I just had a "routine" physical examination a few weeks ago. All they did was knock my knees to test for reflex, take my blood pressure, temperature, look into my eyes with a light, measure my height & weight, and also had blood drawn to test for cholestrol, hiv, and whatever else they normally test for, and also get two immunizations (tetnus booster, and heptatits vaccine).

I got my bill two weeks later....the examination itself cost $197 which was fine. and the immunizations cost another $364. I paid the bill.

Then now i just got another bill 6 wks later for "routine lab services" for $912!!!!!! WTF!? Is this what blood tests normally cost? My crappy bcbs insurance is not gonna cover any of these routine lab services. Is that normal?


You need to get an itemized statement of what they did and what they individual charges were.
Yes, $912 does seem a bit much for routine lab work.

I had like 4 different blood work tests done, because I've never had any done before. (they all came back normal).

2 were covered under my insurance, no deductable, no copay.
2 were not covered under my insurance.

The first 2 went from $190 or so to $0.
The second 2 went from $280 to $18.
The physical was $150 or so, and went to $0.

Yeah, $18... this was the negotiated rate. Have the doctor's office/ blood test office submit to your insurance. Even though something may not be covered, they'll still bill it at the insurer's agreed upon rate.

Get the rate negotiated down, easily sliced in half. Paying full price out of pocket on medical bills is like going to a car dealership and asking "how much?"

I agree with DutchDutch. Have them submit the claim to BCBS. I doubt the lab bill would be over $100 with the "usual and customary" payment the insurance company would give.

$197, $364, and $912!?

Well that's just f'n great.

I'm supposed to have a pretty comprehensive 'routine' exam by my PCP a week or two after my DDS appointment, because I haven't needed/bothered to visit a doctor in a number of years now.

At least now I know what to expect.

I'm all for the blood work, since I havent had that done in ages, but are the immunizations/boosters a necessity (OP?)?

OP - If you're still trying to sort this out in a few weeks, and you get together an itemized bill, I'll be happy to compare it to mine.

We have BCBS and pay just a $15 copay, bloodwork all inclusive.

LostConsumer said: ...are the immunizations/boosters a necessity (OP?)?

The epitome of penny tight and $$$$$$ stupid [maybe just stupid]

I had to have an EKG done for a preop and they charged $388 which I thought was was too high for something that took 15 mins. but when I called the office they said most of the charge was because they had to send it out to a cardiologist to be read. I am under 50 so it wasn't required for my surgery by the hospital's rules but my surgeon required it of all his patients. Also, even though I'd had bloodwork done a month before I had to repeat it within 2 weeks of my surgery.

Doctors have gotten very good at gently forcing patients to consent to procedures and tests. The doc will say "you have to have test X" or "I'm going to order Y and Z" and patients just sit there in silence rather than say "what is that and why is that necessary and how much will it cost?" There are a lot of reasons why it has gotten to be this way.

Ask how much tests are. If the doc ordered tests without specifically asking you put your foot down and say you wont be paying for services you didnt ask for. Would you would pay your mechanic for an oil change that he did without your consent when you took in your car for new windshield wipers? No.

cheapbrass said: So I just had a "routine" physical examination a few weeks ago. All they did was knock my knees to test for reflex, take my blood pressure, temperature, look into my eyes with a light, measure my height & weight, and also had blood drawn to test for cholestrol, hiv, and whatever else they normally test for, and also get two immunizations (tetnus booster, and heptatits vaccine).

I got my bill two weeks later....the examination itself cost $197 which was fine. and the immunizations cost another $364. I paid the bill.

Then now i just got another bill 6 wks later for "routine lab services" for $912!!!!!! WTF!? Is this what blood tests normally cost? My crappy bcbs insurance is not gonna cover any of these routine lab services. Is that normal?
i hear silver gives free gyn exams

This is something I know oa great deal about.

Your bloodwork cost is not unusual for QUEST Diagnostics and Lab One. Insurance companies talk down the price significantly. Typical $350 lab charges will turn into $35 charges after an insurance company.

You may ask why the fee is so high... it's very ironic, but people without insurance typically don't pay their bills. So they build in a 3-year "payment plan" that is "interest free" for you. When you call them, they'll be "very happy" to set up your payment plan.

People who don't have insurance typically don't pay their bills, either. This results in a high cost for them to collect the money from you.

Quest Diagnostics use to offer a "self test" where you could order tests on your own (as a patient), pay for them, and have the results sent to you. The costs were reasonable -- for example, a thyroid test would cost $70 if you walked in off the street.

If your doctor, on the other hand, ordered the exact same thyroid test, it would cost $300.

When an insurance company pays for that lab test, they determine the rate based on a book that Medicaid/Medicare have established, which is usually about $25.

Quest Diagnostics stopped this "self-test" ordering because of fear of lawsuits from patients asking why the same service, when self-ordered, cost less than when a doctor ordered it. Quest's response to some high-profile people was that it "costs more" to send sales reps to doctors, and that the fees also include the cost of doing business with the doctor. (In other words, potential kick-backs for providing the doctor's office with lunches, free books, and CME credits).

You've been screwed, OP, if you have no insurance. You didn't say what lab you're working with, but it's likely that they will never talk the price down. You can try to tell them you're a poor college student and would at least like to have them reduce it by the amount that an insurance company would pay, but they're unlikely to budge, unless things have changed in the last five years. They are cold-hearted.

Medicaid/Medicare also dictate how much money the person taking your blood gets paid. Quest usually charges ~$35, but the "real rate" for the CPT (common procedure code) is $6.00 for that knowledge on how to stick your vein. Unbelievable. And the person taking that blood gets paid about $25K/year or $14/hour, at most.

Quest purchased LabOne and took LabOne's name -- the CEO makes hundreds of millions in pure profit salary (the company is HQ'ed in another country, I think India, but could be wrong).

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out. You said you're getting the Hep series of shots (it's typically more than one shot). Typically, after 3 injections, they will perform another blood test to ensure you've produced antibodies to it. See if you can find another lab that can test you for less. Actually ASK them what the bill will be beforehand. If the lab is based in your doctor's office, ask your doctor for a lab request sheet, and talk with the doctor about the rates the lab charges. The doctor receives commission each time their "internal" lab gets used, so see if they'll knock that off. If you live near a large college, you can frequently get tested and charged for a fair rate (they actually use the big labs, but have contracted a lower fee that they will pass on to members of the local community).

You will find that with the right research, you'll turn a $900 bill into $100. But let's hope you don't need more blood work to find out.

You can also look aound to see if there are any "minute clinics" in your area -- that might be a brand name, but I'm referring to the mini-clinics inside drugstores like CVS, staffed by nurse practitioners. You may be able to get less expensive shots (and treatment) at these clinics.

ThursdaysChild said: You can also look aound to see if there are any "minute clinics" in your area -- that might be a brand name, but I'm referring to the mini-clinics inside drugstores like CVS, staffed by nurse practitioners. You may be able to get less expensive shots (and treatment) at these clinics. any monkey can do that

Mr. HorB went to the doctor today and I had an EKG and lab work done and our out of pocket was $10.00 total. And he complained about the $10.00.

HorB said: Mr. HorB went to the doctor today and I had an EKG and lab work done and our out of pocket was $10.00 total. And he complained about the $10.00. will he complain more when he gets charged for the interpretation of the EKG?

What cheap ass insurance plan do you have? My last physical took over an hour and they checked and prodded everywhere. Included EKG and a lot of blood work. Total out of pocket cost was the $15 copay

Corganiacs said: HorB said: Mr. HorB went to the doctor today and I had an EKG and lab work done and our out of pocket was $10.00 total. And he complained about the $10.00. will he complain more when he gets charged for the interpretation of the EKG? get the EKG for dummies!

timothytuxedo said: Doctors have gotten very good at gently forcing patients to consent to procedures and tests. The doc will say "you have to have test X" or "I'm going to order Y and Z" and patients just sit there in silence rather than say "what is that and why is that necessary and how much will it cost?" There are a lot of reasons why it has gotten to be this way.

Ask how much tests are. If the doc ordered tests without specifically asking you put your foot down and say you wont be paying for services you didnt ask for. Would you would pay your mechanic for an oil change that he did without your consent when you took in your car for new windshield wipers? No.


Comparing a surgeon/doctor to a mechanic is not a fair comparison.

You tell a mechanic to change a part, he has the engine ripped apart and finds something else very wrong. He can STOP, then call you and authorize the new repairs.
You tell a doctor to operate and do a specific surgery, he has you on the table anethesized, and finds something else very wrong. Would you prefer him to STOP? How about to sew you back up, authorize the new surgery, cut you back open, and finish?

I'm just saying there's a difference between a mechanic that has 0-2 years of college, and a doctor who has 8+ years of college, 3-4 years of residency, then potentially another 2-8 years of specialization.

Medical students are taught to recommend exactly what they feel would be the best result for the patient. If the patient expresses financial concern, or asks what the insurance will cover, the doctors should be able to adjust the treatment to minimize financial strain.

However, it is always the patient's job to know what their insurance will and will not cover, it's not the doctor's job. Just like how the insurance company should NOT tell the doctor what procedures the doctor should do, it is not the patient's job to tell the doctor what to do.

If you question a doctor's judgement, IMO you shouldn't be going to that doctor. However, doctors do NOT get offended if you tell them you would like to get a second opinion (especially on rare/extreme cases), and you SHOULD get second opinions in these cases. Doctors going off of descriptions of symptoms of a disease may have dozens of diseases that have the exact symptoms, so sometimes they just start 'at the top of the list'.

Fallon Community Health Plan in MA, $15 for the office visit. Doctor says you need x-y-z blood work and an EKG, go to lab across the hall, no additional charge. Have to do this every June for Scout camp physical.

ER visit went up to $50 this year, still seems like a bargain. Eye exam and free glasses, $15 once a year.

Edit: got a card in the mail Saturday, reminder that annual physicals are free.

You should have asked ahead of time and shopped around. IMO, very non-FWish of you.

Sleep with the doctors wife and call it even

DenverDiver said: Sleep with the doctors wife and call it even...and get yet another bill 6 wks later for "additional services rendered."

Insurance only pays a percentage. They can refuse it if they don't want that percentage.

But then who goes to the doc & not ask what it costs first?

It's another example of those who can least afford to pay being forced to pay the most. When I was REALLY poor (and not offered dental insurance through my employer), I spent a fortune on dental work. Had my own cheapo plan, which helped, but not much. I was paying off that dentist for years.

Now I have excellent insurance. Last year I was out of state and something blew into my eye, lint fiber or something, and I couldn't get it out and it was scratching my eye. I went to an emergency room who sent me to a university eye speciality clinic. All they really did was flush my eye, get the thing out, and put antiobiotics in. Cost over $1000. Insurance covered most of it, but I think I did still have to pay a couple hundred as it was "out of network."

The University of the Pacific Dental School has the cheapest prices in the Bay area San Francisco and they also have as graduated people from overseas working in their clinic. The trick to do not be waiting for so long is to get the name of a graduated IDS doctor (already graduated overseas) and he or she can get your first appointments faster.

Wow. With my insurance the annual physicals are free and that includes the lab tests. Had no idea routine stuff costs that much. You might have to see the MD again to recuperate.

Curious how much time a MD typically takes to do a complete physical. Last time I was in it took about an hour for the exam and discussions.

Sure is good to be a healthy guy.

My insurance isn't great at all, however when I had lyme disease the blood-work was around $500-$600 and I had quite a bit of blood drawn and tests done on it.

Seems quite high for just routine blood-work.

Mine was $400 pre insurance discount for that stuff, and ~100 after



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