Diagnostic labs

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  #1  
Old 12-30-16, 06:31 AM
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Diagnostic labs

The Mods might delete this post because I'm going to mention a company name. But My frustration level is high and I'm disgusted.

This morning I had to go to Quest Diagnostics for blood work. Past experience had turned me off of Quest, but since there are no competing labs in a convenient location I'm "forced" to use them. What got me riled was I read reviews from others about this particular Quest Lab location and they also were disgusted. So I decided to voice my review also. Following is my review as posted on the Quest website.

Concerning the West Seneca Quest Location.
"Agree with Kevin. The computer sign-in is stupid. I only needed to ask a question, and the staff from the inside, who saw my wife and I standing in the lobby looking bewildered did not even try to acknowledge our presence. After we finally "signed in", did a staff member come out at the "allotted time frame" even though there was no one else in the lobby. We asked about setting up appointment and what to expect and bring with us. The staff member told us that she cannot do that nor answer our questions. It must be done online! I told the online website did not work. She said sorry, can't do anything about it. I will avoid this Quest location at all cost! Unfortunately I cannot avoid Quest altogether.

On the flip side, this morning I had my actual blood work done at the Orchard Park facility. There was a hand written sign-in sheet and we were acknowledged immediately. The staff was polite and efficient. I voiced my complaint about the West Seneca facility to the attending aid and was told that they will eventually go to the electronic sign-in procedure also. Too bad!

She told me the reason is that it makes their job easier and more efficient for Quest. I told her they should skip the bottom line figure and pay attention to the customer and customer service. She basically agreed with me and said I should voice my opinion. So here it is."
 
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Old 12-30-16, 07:01 AM
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Like most franchise operations, there are always vast differences in service. I just had blood drawn for lab work last week at one of the local Quest locations and went fast and easy. My wife usually uses a difference local Quest lab and she always mentions how easy it was.
 
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Old 12-30-16, 07:51 AM
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I don't remember going to a lab for blood work, normally they draw the blood at the doctor's office and then send it to the lab. I guess your doctor offices don't ??
 
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Old 12-30-16, 08:07 AM
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I think it has to do with the insurance company, Mark.
 
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Old 12-30-16, 08:26 AM
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Norm's experience with Quest reminds me of an almost exact experience I had with a Social Security Oflice a few years ago when someone sitting on the other side of a bulletproof glass window couldn't acknowledge my question (or presence) until after I had signed in electronically . . . . just looked back at me like a dormant piece of robotic protoplasm until activated by the sign-in.

So that's good . . . . it helps to eliminate the need to apologize when certain mundane tasks are automated.
 
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Old 12-30-16, 08:57 AM
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I think it has to do with the insurance company, Mark.
Correct! The doctor would've done it at the office but then we would've paid her full cost and then up to us to collect from Independent Health.
 
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Old 12-30-16, 09:07 AM
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I'm not sure how the insurance process works regarding lab work but I've never had to pay extra at the doctor's office and the lab will bill me directly if there is a portion medicare doesn't cover. All we pay is the regular doctor co-pay at the time of service.
 
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Old 12-30-16, 09:21 AM
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It could've been because we just started with this doctor (first visit) and all the paperwork was not yet filed. It was her suggestion that we go to the lab, but our decision to choose her office or the lab. Besides, we needed to do a 10 hour fast prior to the blood draw. So an extra trip either way and the lab is much more convenient.
 
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Old 12-30-16, 09:25 AM
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I have lab work done once a year and I always make sure I have an early appointment! That appointment is always made months in advance. I normally wake up hungry and I couldn't imagine having to wait until late in the day to eat
 
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Old 12-30-16, 09:52 AM
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All this is new to me. Up until now my wife and I have been very fortunate that we never needed "old age" type medical monitoring. Our only needed medical care until now was for specific problems like my ruptured disc or kidney stones or things of that nature. Now that we are in our mid to late 60's they want us to take all kinds of test. They already have my other half on blood medication for high blood pressure. But both our blood pressure reading have been historically on the high end. Neither of us are overweight (at least not to any great degree), and we are generally active throughout the day. I'm not having any of the procedures or test unless I feel bad. I feel good with my present life style and will continue with it until a need arises. I know, I may be hiding my head in the sand but I can't see myself taking all kinds of medicines "just as a precaution".

I normally wake up hungry and I couldn't imagine having to wait until late in the day to eat
With me it's that morning cup of coffee that I need. This morning I substituted a hot cup of water.
 
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Old 12-30-16, 02:25 PM
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"I'm not having any of the procedures or test unless I feel bad."

Norm - You might want to rethink that. I had the same attitude, often thinking how great I felt - especially at my age. Never sick, I exercised daily, kept my weight down and didn't have many bad habits.

Whenever my wife would get on my case about "going for a checkup" my standard response was that I would see a doctor when I got sick - then I did. I was within a day or two of checking out permanently when I finally realized I was sick and needed help.

Now the damage is permanent, I won't get better and according to my cardiologist it all could have been prevented if I just had gone in for regular "checkups."
 
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Old 12-30-16, 02:34 PM
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We have Quest labs in the area, but I have been getting my lab work done at a hospital outpatient facility associated with my hospital. They, the hospital, my PCP and Cardiologist are all networked on the same system. It's really pretty efficient. My only gripe would probably be wait times for blood work. I typically wait an hour or more to get blood drawn. Wait times for other tests are pretty short.
 
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Old 12-30-16, 03:10 PM
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CW,

You're probably right. And yes I realize I should be willing to at least listen. It's just that I hear of so many people who seem to get hooked on drugs and medicine for every little thing that it turns me off. And I don't blame the doctors directly. Today most people expect a doctor to give them something for every little sniffle or paper cut. And if the doctor does not give them something, they cry foul.

We'll see how this new doctor I have responds. So far she seems good. She tells me the facts and the probability of problems with my current health. At least she did not try to get me on blood pressure pills even though my pressure tends to measure slightly on the high side. She's not pushy but is willing to spend time and talk to her patients.

But I will take your advice and be a bit less careless about my well being.

I should look into the hospital think for testing like you did.

Like I said this is all new to me, including the Medicare paperwork and all.
 
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Old 12-31-16, 04:04 PM
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Norm -
Until recently, I had not taken a prescription medicine for 40 years. Now I take 6 a day, it's pretty much what keeps me alive. None of them are pain killers. I think that is where people have addiction problems.

I went for years knowing my BP was "a little high", but not real bad so I ignored it. No big deal I felt great. Apparently, a little high over a long period can kill you and you won't even see it coming. I have been on Beta blockers with no side effects for the last 4 months. I have watched my BP drop from 150/90 to 100/60 in that time. Unfortunately, the years of neglect can't be undone and the organ damage is done. If you need to take meds to get your BP down, I urge you to do so.
 
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Old 01-01-17, 04:03 AM
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.... and remember you and your doctor work together to manage your health. I'm also on blood pressure medicine but I don't always take it. Sometimes I forget but mostly any skipped doses is because I've checked my BP and it was low or normal - so I'll skip that day BUT no matter what my BP is the next day I'll go ahead and take a dose just to be on the safe side. How you feel has little to do with what your BP is, you have to check it to know!

I'm supposed to put eye drops in my right eye 4 times a day, I only do it 3 times but my pressures are always excellent when I go to the eye doctor. He knows I just use 3 a day and has never said anything because there is no elevated pressure.

As far as I know there are only certain types of drugs that can be habit forming. I do agree that the doctors tend to prescribe meds more often than needed. The main thing is to talk to the doc and don't be scared to question the use of any certain drug.
 
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Old 01-01-17, 06:11 AM
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CW, Marksr,

Your arguments have not fallen on deaf ears. I got a call back concerning my blood workup. Doctor wants to see me next week due to elevated blood levels. I suspect I'll need to change my living habits a bit. If she subscribes medicines, I'll ask her first if a diet change can be used first. But I will follow her instructions regardless. I may as well join the Senior citizens medicine train.

I've been monitoring my BP and over the past week it averages 139/99. But that has fluctuated from as low as 122/95 to this morning's of 148/107.
 
  #17  
Old 01-01-17, 09:13 AM
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Your BP qualifies as Stage 1 Hypertension. The Stages of Hypertension - Hypertension Center - Everyday Health

BTW - Diet change is a big part of it - a low sodium diet reduces fluid retention which reduces the heart load. I never paid much attention to salt except to add it to almost everything I ate . I watched my calories and fat intake, but never considered salt as a problem. My guess is that I was probably eating 4000 - 5000 mg a day. The recommended level is 2000 mg or less (1500 for seniors). Now I keep it below 1500 although lots of stuff I eat now really sucks without salt.

Next time you are at the grocer check out the sodium levels in canned/prepared foods. Soup and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich can have as much as 2500 mg of sodium. Add salt to the soup @2400 mg/teaspoon and a simple lunch blows a low sodium diet.
 

Last edited by cwbuff; 01-01-17 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 01-01-17, 09:45 AM
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I started cutting back on salt about 30 yrs ago. First I tried the salt substitute but it was horrible so I mixed in with real salt and that was too much hassle. Now I usually use pepper instead of salt. I still eat stuff with salt added during cooking but hardly ever add salt to the food on my plate.
 
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Old 01-01-17, 10:26 AM
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I also do not add salt (well almost never) to foods. But as Marksr does I do add pepper as a substitute. My big weakness is occasional salt cravings (about once every 3 months) and heavy use of butter if I have popcorn (perhaps once every three months). I'll be stopping that habit, I'm sure. Although I don't drink a lot of carbonated soft drinks, I'll cut down on what I do drink and start more with the sparkling water.

What has me a bit scared or concerned are the recent problems that others have reported. Hedge's recent stage 4 cancer announcement, my wife's current prescription to blood pills and my son's recent stroke. And now my warning of possible problems. That and along with CW's sage advice, I'm thinking maybe I better listen up. Also, something I have not mentioned is the fact I have not had a colonoscopy! That' opens up a whole new can of worms. My doctor suggested it and I said I would consider it within the next year. She did not push it and said that would be fine. I think I'll consider it a bit more.
 
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Old 01-01-17, 11:07 PM
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I need to eat more salt probably, which would be almost impossible I think. I even add seasoned salt to Trisquits.

My BP was borderline for about 2 yrs and they put me on meds. Gee, it dropped a whole 4 points and they were ok with that because it was now 138-139 most of the time, which for me was pretty still high. In the Navy the only time my BP was over 120 was during PT.

Then a new doc discovered my liver issue. I stopped drinking and after they drained 11.5 liters of fluids out of my abdomen in the ER and I basically laid in bed and just doing required stuff, I lost over 50 lbs in a month. They've got me on diuretics and hope the liver can recover with time, but my BP at my last appt was 99/58...and it's normally always higher at the doc's office for some reason. My eye doc, no such issue on or off the BP meds, it was always in the 120's before, drinking, weight and all. My aversion to white coats I think.

And to think, all this started because I wanted a "wellness" check back in Nov 2015. Insurance covers it 100% after age 55 or something. A shame they didn't listen to me about my broken right collarbone when I first complained about it. Might not have needed expensive surgery in the future. Heck, the temporary holiday doc I saw didn't do a darn thing for me. Took me 3 months to calm down and another 6 weeks to finally see my regular doc. She was more concerned with probably saving my life than my collar bone, so it was 6 more months before an X-ray was done.

Boy, I'm gonna leave a pretty corpse. Even most all my clothes from 6-7yrs ago fit, my shorts and jeans are all 4-6 inches too big, had to buy new.
 
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Old 01-01-17, 11:12 PM
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Oh, and on the blood draw thing, I've never had to go to a lab that I can remember. The doc's office has a specimen collector (yes, all types) and will draw right after your appt, or you can come back anytime between 7-3 the next day or up to 5 days I think). I'm not a morning person, so I would go around 11-12 and, never more than a 5 min wait for me. If it was fasting, I could still go in later since I'm not much of a breakfast person and don't drink coffee. Watch out at lunch and dinner though, don't get your fingers to close to my plate.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 12:12 AM
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Sounds like I'm probably one or two of decades younger than some of you. My profession demands that I be in good physical condition (which I am). While on limited duty I started having mild chest discomfort. Since I was invincible I ignored it. A week later ambled in to my Dr. who sent me to a cardioligost to run a stress test on me. Next thing they did was wheel me over to the cardiac cath lab and inserted a stent in my LAD (also known as the widowmaker)...99% blockage. Attending physician told me in recovery people of my age usually come in dead with this type of blockage.

Always had mildly high BP. Cardiologist said with my family history I should have been on meds a long time ago. Not me! I always felt fine and was in good shape. Never went to the Dr. for any evals.

I guess my point is I am now on BP and cholesterol meds, not because I didn't take care of myself but because I was born with a family history.

Get the tests, take the meds. Your wife, kids, creditors deep down will thank you for it.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 03:14 AM
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it's normally always higher at the doc's office for some reason. ... . My aversion to white coats I think.
That is a real thing! My previous doctor was aware of it, had me make a log of my BP between visits and determined I didn't need meds. New doc said I needed meds and when I came back the numbers were the same but that's ok because now I'm on BP medication But my checks at home have revealed that my BP is now sometimes higher than it used to be so I take the meds.

Personally I think a lot of the medical profession cares more about billing than the patient but if we want to keep upright and moving we need their help. We were only invincible when we were young!
 
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Old 01-02-17, 04:09 AM
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I remember as a little kid, perhaps 6 years old, the doctor coming to the house to actually administer health care. Nowday's if you think about it, what does a GP do? They look at you and in turn send you to a specialist no matter what the problem is. And in many cases the doctor doesn't even see the patient, but instead a PA or nurse does. So in essence a GP is nothing more than a human reference that will "guess" what your problem is and then refer you to a specialist that will determine if GP "guess" is correct.

When I got the call to make an appointment to talk about my elevated blood levels I was asked if I wanted to see the Doctor herself or a Physicians assistant? I chose the doctor in this case only because I want to get to know her since we're new to each other. But past experience has shown me that PAs are most likely more knowledgeable in terms of the specific patient and able to spend more time with the patient.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 12:01 PM
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PAs are most likely more knowledgeable in terms of the specific patient and able to spend more time with the patient.
You can thank the Navy and the military in general for PAs. That's where the majority of the first few classes came from.
 
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