Jump to content
  • Sign Up
0
Coleslawcat

Did The Lab Run The Right Test?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I was diagnosed with celiac a few weeks ago. My GI doctor recommended I talk to our pediatrician about testing the kids. My son has always had whitish stools and my daughter complains about stomach aches frequently. They are both big for their age so they don't show the classic failure to thrive signs, but I am concerned given my lack of obvious symptoms. Anyway I had them tested and the office told me they came back negative. I have no idea what blood test was done. All I know is that the lab only billed the insurance for $4.35 for each kid. My blood tests for celiac ran closer to $800 (there was also a pregnancy test in that batch of lab tests). Now that I see the explanation of benefits I'm worried they weren't tested properly. Can a celiac test really only cost $4.35?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two things. If asked, the lab must provide you with what tests were done and exactly what the results were. Second, oftentimes the blood tests come back negative even if somebody does have Celiac's. Get the actual test results and what tests were done and ask your gastroenterologist. He will know if the right tests were done. He should also know if it could be a false negative and what to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two things. If asked, the lab must provide you with what tests were done and exactly what the results were. Second, oftentimes the blood tests come back negative even if somebody does have Celiac's. Get the actual test results and what tests were done and ask your gastroenterologist. He will know if the right tests were done. He should also know if it could be a false negative and what to do.

Thanks for the info. I just tried calling the lab. The most they could tell me was that it was a "celiac panel". I asked which test that meant and he said "the normal one". He would not give me a more specific answer, but did say it was just 1 test. Then when I asked for results he said he could only release them to a doctor in the state of Arizona. Talk about useless! My daughter has her 3 year well check tomorrow so I will ask the doctor for more info then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info. I just tried calling the lab. The most they could tell me was that it was a "celiac panel". I asked which test that meant and he said "the normal one". He would not give me a more specific answer, but did say it was just 1 test. Then when I asked for results he said he could only release them to a doctor in the state of Arizona. Talk about useless! My daughter has her 3 year well check tomorrow so I will ask the doctor for more info then.

This doesn't strike me as correct given your patient's rights. Check out the HIPAA Consumers Page (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html). If your doctor ordered the tests, you may be able to get the detailed results from them as well. These test details are a part of your children's health records and you are entitled to a copy of them as their guardian.

- Maura

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think when it comes to labs, x-rays, all tests ordered by a doctor, the results are released to the ordering doctor who then has the duty to release to the patient. I may be wrong, but that is what I have run into.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info. I just tried calling the lab. The most they could tell me was that it was a "celiac panel". I asked which test that meant and he said "the normal one". He would not give me a more specific answer, but did say it was just 1 test. Then when I asked for results he said he could only release them to a doctor in the state of Arizona. Talk about useless! My daughter has her 3 year well check tomorrow so I will ask the doctor for more info then.

Please don't berate the laboratory unnecessarily. Let me explain, as I work in one!

First of all, in terms of the question of "did the lab do the right test" - Laboratories do not determine what tests will be done. That is the responsibility of the physician. The laboratory is obligated to perform those tests that the physician orders. Now, if we suspect that the most appropriate test has not been ordered, we may try to advise the physician, and give him the opportunity to change his orders, but ultimately, we perform only those tests that the caregiver orders.

Now in terms of the info you did (or did not) receive when you called the lab. When you called, you may have spoken not to the testing personnel, who are most knowledgeable about the exact type of test performed, but to a client support representative, whose technical knowledge is more limited. Still, that person should have been able to give you a little more info on the specific type of test performed. (At least in my lab they do; they have a complete test catalogue available to them that would provide more specifics for these types of questions.)

However, in terms of giving you the test results - labs are highly regulated entities, subject to all kinds of government laws and regulations. The fact that the lab could only release the results of the test to the physician is not an unusual restriction. I have had to reply this way to patient requests myself.

Your best bet is to ask your physician, and your kids doctor, for a copy of the complete lab report on both you and your kids. That way you will have the specific name of the test as well as the result for future reference. I hope you have the opportunity to discuss all the results with your physician!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact is, according to HIPPAA, somebody has to give you the results. Also, they may not be able to share them over the phone. They have to be able to cover there buts, and might not share them if you can't verify your identity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact is, according to HIPPAA, somebody has to give you the results. Also, they may not be able to share them over the phone. They have to be able to cover there buts, and might not share them if you can't verify your identity.

its not so much "cover our butts" as "comply with regulations". HIPPAA is very specific. If I had a patient request their results over the phone, you're right, I could not do that. I would first refer them to their physician. If they wanted to pursue obtaining the results directly from the laboratory, that would be possible (I am speaking from the perspective of my state specifically). But they would have to come to the lab in person, and we would require them to sign specific documentation. We would just be doing our jobs in following the letter of the law.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All I know is that the lab only billed the insurance for $4.35 for each kid. My blood tests for celiac ran closer to $800 (there was also a pregnancy test in that batch of lab tests). Now that I see the explanation of benefits I'm worried they weren't tested properly. Can a celiac test really only cost $4.35?

I have seen a similar charge on our EOB's which is simply for the process of the lab (or whoever) taking the blood, it would not include any of the cost for the actual test that was run. I think, someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0

×