Medical Tests

Coincidentally today I received in the mail an ‘invitation’ to a series of medical tests performed (for one day and one day only- April 12) by Life Line Screening. Here is a list of the tests I can take:
Stroke/Carotid Artery Screening
Heart Rhythm Screening
Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening
Abdomina Aortic Aneurysm Screening
Osteoporosis Risk Assessment
Lipid Profile
Glucose Screening
Blood Pressure
Waist Circumference & BMI
Metabolic Syndrome Screening
…all for the low package price of $249!
I’m not certain I need all those tests but I’m pretty sure that they would cost more than $249 at the local urgent care facility. What do you all think? Worth it or not? Maybe it’s a scam of some sort (I think I got the invitation because I joined AARP).

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10 Responses to Medical Tests

  1. Linda P. says:

    I certainly haven’t checked them out and so can’t speak with authority, but my sister had one of these and she didn’t mention thinking that it was a scam. I think you’d pay at least that much for the bone density scan itself. I recently had to have an ultrasound test to check for an abdominal ultrasound and my copay (with good insurance) was worth more than the total cost. Here’s a seemingly objective article in Nurse Week that might provide some food for thought as you make up your mind: http://www.nurseweek.com/features/99-1/stroke.html

  2. Lynn says:

    Here’s a thought—bring the offer to the Heart Aware appointment, since it’s soon, and as they are evaluating the results of their test, ask if the offered tests by Life Line would be useful and if so, whether they are a good deal. I wouldn’t worry about the “One Day Only April 12th” aspect. It will be offered again and I bet if you called them and told them you could not be there the 12th but wanted the testing, they could set you up on another date or at another location.

  3. justagal says:

    Call AARP and ask if it’s legit. I used to work for them in their call center and I used to check on stuff like this all day long. No charge.

    888-OUR-AARP (888-687-2277)

  4. Rebecca Rivera says:

    Last time I tried to donate blood they checked for my blood type, iron level, cholesterol, and for sti’s. They gave me all the results plus a $15 gift card for best buy. It was free to me since I was donating blood (I didn’t pass the iron test, but still got all those results.) You might try that.

  5. Jan says:

    Nope. I don’t think so.

    It’s a scam. They’re going to find something to follow up on with what, 90% of people? It may not be anything to worry about, but since they found it, they “need” to follow up. It’s a great way for clinics to pull in patients who are going to pay good money for the tests and follow ups and more tests.

    A lot of clinics do free bp screenings if you look. One here does them at the mall once a week. Heck, I bet if you went into a local red cross blood donation center when they weren’t busy and asked them to take your bp, they’d do it.

    If you’re seeing a doctor and the doctor thinks it’s worthwhile for your needs, s/he can order a lipid test or whatever. But screening just for the sake of screening, nope.

    Urgent care is probably more expensive than a low cost basic clinic, especially since this sort of testing generally isn’t urgent.

  6. Amy says:

    Agreed, it is probably just a series of questions.

    That being said, I would ask for a “stress test” or similar at a hospital. I think the stat used to be that 50% of people would die from their first heart attack and if you survived another 50% of that would have another heart attack in the next week (apparently they are most likely to reoccur then). Those stats are ancient so things are probably better now, but the fact is that you shouldn’t joke around with a heart attack.

    I would recommend reading Dean Ornish’s “Reversing Heart Disease”. He realized that cardiac problems could be reversed back when everyone thought that you could only build up plaque, not remove it. Cut fat out of your diet almost entirely — as close to entirely as possible. Cholesterol isn’t as bad for you as people used to think it was.

  7. bogart says:

    I don’t know. Waist circumference and BMI you can calculate yourself, assuming you can access a scale somewhere. The first 5 I think you’d need to get a trained and equipped medical professional to do, and that they probably involve ultrasound; I know the osteoporosis one does, assuming it’s what was done to me — ultrasound of an ankle and not very informative results except that further screening might be recommended. Which reminds me, I meant to ask my GP about that when I saw her and forgot to do so, sigh (the initial screening was offered free at my work). Blood pressure you can do (at least where I live) for free at any number of drugstores. Lipid and glucose you can order for yourself (along with several other tests, thyroid for one) here: http://www.healthcheckusa.com/lab_tests/Combination_Panels/VIP_Plus for $95. I haven’t used the health check place, but I have friends who have, basically you order what you want and go to a nearby lab (likely the same place used by area hospitals, etc.) for the blood draw. It may or may not make sense absent a doctor’s recommendation/interpretation, but you can get the bloodwork done and see if it’s in the recommended range or not that way (and yes, much cheaper).

    For whatever that’s worth.

    And I haven’t had any medical training, either.

  8. Julie says:

    Hi. Lurker here. Since it only says “screening,” that would imply that they are going to ask you a bunch of questions (that you could ask yourself for free) and think they are saving your life for the low low price of *only* $249. A cholesterol test (lipid screening) (fasting or not) is routinely much less than that. In Iowa, our local hospitals regularly offer things like this — they give you a price for each test. Screenings are free. Cholesterol tests run about $35 and they mail you the results in a couple of days.

    Not a scam, probably, but definitely not worth it unless they are actually drawing a metric ton of blood and sticking it in the machines that beep and whirr.

    (I am not a medical professional. I’m a musician. So you really can’t trust anything I say about sciency topics. LOL.)

    • boxcarkids says:

      It’s a bit more intensive – ultrasound for bone density and abdominal aneurysm, 3 blood tests, and EKG for two heart issues. I agree the BP and waist circumference/BMI aren’t a big deal and the Heart Aware folks will do those tests for free in mid-April as well as the cholesterol numbers. I see I can do the main tests for $126. Here’s the Life Line website: http://www.lifelinescreening.com/about-us/default.aspx. They don’t treat you for anything and unless there’s a life-threatening issue you don’t get results for 21 days. If there is something life-threatening they refer you immediately to your doctor/the ER so they don’t make any money off that.

  9. Lynda says:

    We just had the same offer in our County. The testing was held at our local hospital. I sit on a couple boards with the Hospital Administrator he gave them the thumbs up!

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