“We just want to do a few tests.”
Does that one sentence make your body tense up? Flood your mind with any number of possibilities? Too often, we mistake medical testing as a bad thing. That’s simply not true. Pathology and laboratory testing allow your doctor to eliminate possibilities, take immediate and direct action against illnesses and even prevent various diseases. These tests can give you the answers and peace of mind you need for a healthier you.
Test? What kind of test?
Most pathology and laboratory tests examine your tissue (e.g., biopsy) or your blood and other body fluids (e.g., urine). These tests provide vital information that aids your doctor in diagnosing an illness, determining the appropriate treatment and following the course of that treatment.
What happens after my tissue or body fluid sample is taken?
Once your doctor has taken a sample, the specimen goes to the laboratory where a highly qualified team of pathologists, technologists and technicians uses the latest in medical science and technology to prepare and test it. Striving to gain insight into your health, the pathology and laboratory team examines the sample and looks for irregularities. This team is under the direction of a pathologist laboratory director. Your test results are prepared and delivered to your physician in a timely manner. Your doctor reviews the results and communicates with you. Every step of this process is accomplished with strict confidentiality.
What exactly is a Pathologist?
A pathologist is a consulting physician who spends five or more years beyond medical school specializing in the study of all manner and types of disease. Even though your pathologist is directly involved in caring for you, you’ll probably never see him or her. After all, a pathologist is a specialist working behind the scenes, working with your doctor and providing additional expertise as needed. A pathologist focuses on the study of tissue and cells (Anatomic Pathology) or blood and other body fluids (Clinical Pathology).
How am I going to be billed for my test?
Pathology is a professional specialty service separate from your doctor’s, therefore, requiring separate billing in many instances. The billing statements are itemized and easy to review. If you don’t receive a bill for pathology services, the pathologist has received payment for professional services provided to you from government payers or by pre-arrangement from the hospital, managed care plans or your insurance company.
You may also receive a separate bill from the hospital for the technical services provided in the course of producing and delivering the test results to your doctor. This technical component charge is for the cost of the instruments, materials and hospital technical employees and may already have been paid by the government payers, managed care organizations or your insurance company.
Together, we’ll discover the answers through pathology.