Sunday, January 28, 2007

Quest Diagnostics and One Small Step for Man

Recently I was paying a visit to a Patient Service Center operated by Quest Diagnostics located somewhere in the fragrant and floral region known far and wide as Northern New Jersey, center of the universe. Upon spying out a pad containing something which appeared to be important information in the reception area of this facility, a printed sheet which contained the Quest Diagnostics logo, I became intrigued to learn what it said.

So, after peeling off one of the many duplicate sheets I began to read the message which was in fact addressed specifically to a certain segment of the market. In fact it was directed at New Jersey UnitedHealthcare and Oxford Members.

And as this issue of United Healthcare is a subject which seems to have no end in sight I will make a few comments here again by way of simply reproducing the body of the text so that if you are a person affected by this matter as so many who are being held captive by the executives of United Healthcare are, you might learn from Quest Diagnostics, through me, about your options and your ability to take control of your own healthcare.

Why is it important to be able to decide what laboratory to choose? Because a diagnostic test is what the doctor relies on to make an evaluation of your health and the fact is that one of the most important things you have to protect is your health. And doctors require the ability to interact with you without some executive who is standing between you and your doctor.

And since Quest Diagnostics has as a primary goal to provide your doctor, and mine, with as much accurate information as possible then the natural choice would have to be, in my humble opinion, Quest Diagnostics. So, having said that, I offer you a reproduction of the information which I received at a Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Center located in fragrant New Jersey. Remember this is addressed only to United Healthcare and Oxford members in New Jersey.

As you may have heard, as of January 1, 2007 Quest Diagnostics is no longer an in-network provider of laboratory services to UnitedHealthcare and Oxford plan members in most parts of the country. However, many UnitedHealthcare and Oxford members and physicians have told us that they want to continue to use our laboratory services.

Quest Diagnostics will continue to provide laboratory-testing services to all UnitedHealthcare and Oxford members and we will continue to accept your insurance. If you live in New Jersey and have health insurance through a UnitedHealthcare or Oxford HMO or PPO plan, you will NOT receive a bill for laboratory testing from Quest Diagnostics. If, for any reason, you do receive a bill from us, please contact our Billing Customer Service Department at (800) 638-7284 and we will correct the situation.

Thank you for choosing Quest Diagnostics, Because it Matters.

Sincerely,
Regional Vice President, NY/NJ
End Quote

I would suspect that even though this is directed at United Healthcare clients of Quest Diagnostics in New Jersey the legal department of Quest Diagnostics is researching all options and solutions to this issue in all geographic regions affected by this issue.

I would also suspect that as information and solutions become available to the clients of United Healthcare who are being forced to use what might not be their first choice in healthcare, then at that time if and when such solutions become available then those clients of Quest Diagnostics in those geographic regions will be notified of their individual options.

I will soon have a few things to say on the matter involving Quest Diagnostics and United Healthcare which will offer suggestions on how each side might extricate itself from this morass of billing and the potential of costly tort action which may be in the offing for United Healthcare if the $200,000,000.00 leakage provision in the Laboratory Corporation of America contract reaches the next level of United Healthcare responsibility.

And I understand that due to cost of services that could happen in a very short timeframe, especially with the ability of United Healthcare clients in New Jersey to utilize Quest Diagnostics facilities and be treated and billed as though they were operating within network.

If other states prove as progressive as New Jersey when it comes to patient rights, then the writing might very well be on the wall for both Laboratory Corporation of American and United Healthcare.

Remember it is important which laboratory you choose for your diagnostic testing services because there might very well be severe consequences to anyone who uses a laboratory simply because they might have been compelled by a health maintenance group to do so. A qualified laboratory needs to have a close relationship with your doctor so that there is no misunderstanding between doctor and laboratory of exactly what test is being requested.

Having stated the things I stated above and having reproduced for your financial enlightenment a message from Quest Diagnostics, I would like to simply add to it a link to a post from a blogger, a qualified medical professional, which I just stumbled across at MEDINNOVATIONBLOG for those of you who have an interest in the healthcare industry and especially the subject of the delivery of said product in conjunction with the cost containment of such in relationship to fair and available healthcare to all who require it.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007

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