Joelle Reizes - January 7, 2013
As mentioned in a recent Daily Local News story, the demand for diagnostic testing has been increasing by 2 percent every year for the past five years. Growth for these medical and diagnostic laboratory tests are expected to increase even further by 2017, at 4.5 percent.
Combined with the 700,000 strokes that occur in the United States each year, the value and significance of preventive health screenings like those from Life Line Screening are becoming more evident. For those with risk factors that could lead to certain health conditions, like a stroke, taking the affordable route of a vascular screening could end up being life-saving if the condition is discovered early.
“A person can walk around with problems and show no symptoms,” said Dr. Andrew Manganaro, chief medical officer at Life Line Screening, in the Daily Local News article. “These problems can be identified immediately with a non-invasive ultrasound, but in general, these screenings are not covered by insurance companies because most won’t cover testing unless a person has symptoms.”
Seeking a diagnostic ultrasound from a physician without the ability to have it covered by insurance, therefore, can be quite expensive. It can cost thousands of dollars. The alternative? Seeking a health screening from Life Line Screening, who offers a variety of tests starting at $139, significantly more affordable than the cost of testing through a hospital.
“These are screenings, not diagnostic exams,” Manganaro said, “so the savings can be passed on to the patient.”
It’s important to note, however, that not everyone is a suitable candidate for preventive health screenings. For those with specific risk factors, screenings make more sense and can be beneficial.
“If you’re a man who’s a smoker, age 65 or older, and have hypertension, screening for an abdominal aortic aneurysm makes sense,” Manganaro said. “In women, the risk is very low…so…[f]or a woman who has normal blood pressure and doesn’t smoke, that screening makes no sense. Patients should always talk to their doctor first to see if a screening is worth doing.”