Low-Cost Labs Help You Manage Your Health—And Your Budget

For twenty years, Jenn Cox, Hancock Health director of marketing, has undergone a regular healthcare regimen: Every eight to twelve weeks, she gets her thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels tested, due to a thyroid condition that was diagnosed almost twenty years ago.

Though staying on top of her TSH levels has helped Jenn manage her thyroid condition, the cost—in terms of both healthcare dollars and time and energy—hasn’t always been easy.

“If you were on a high-deductible plan, you’d be looking at six, seven, eight hundred dollars every quarter,” she said. “You’d also have to call the doctor, get an order sent to you, and then keep track of that. But if you lost it, you were back to square one. It was just a big hassle.”

When Hancock Health started offering low-cost, no-referral labs and screenings through the Hancock Regional Hospital Laboratory, it changed the way Jenn manages her condition for the better.

“I used to wait until my doctor would order a test. But now, when I don’t feel good—and having a thyroid condition for 20 years, I just kind of know when something is off—I can just go get my blood work done. Usually it says that my numbers are off, but now it only costs me $100, or maybe as little as $35, depending on whether I get the full workup. And I can get it done whenever it’s convenient for me.”

The low-cost lab approach is great for those who want to regularly check their cholesterol, or even for those who might wonder whether their urinary tract symptoms point to an infection, or other causes, said Janet Strauch, Director of Laboratory Services. There’s even a low-cost test for proof of immunity—a great resource for parents who may need to provide proof of a child’s immunity for the upcoming school year.

“People want to get their cholesterol or A1C [for diabetes] checked the most,” Janet said. “Along with a chemistry screen, which gives a picture of overall health, or a CBC, which is a complete blood count.”

Janet sees the low-cost labs as a great resource for those in Hancock County who might otherwise find such tests cost-prohibitive. “It’s just a great way for patients to take a proactive approach to their health and monitor their own changes and trends through the results. I think especially our younger generation will want this as they get older, and it’s convenient, too. They can get the results right on their patient portal, in addition to the option of receiving them through the mail. With the low-cost, and no physician referral necessary, it’s an easy choice.”

“I’m so glad to have this option at Hancock Health,” said Jenn Cox. “I didn’t want to have to go to a competitor, but with my tests being so frequent, I was honestly tempted. It’s nice to have them right here, and to know that I’ll be dealing with such a friendly and professional staff.”

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