$15 test strip?

I was at the doc’s today… it had been a few hours since I ate, and this was my first meeting with the physician, so he wanted to know where it was at. I jokingly asked the doc “My meter or yours?” I pulled out the meter, washed my hands, ready to test, when the nurse came in, said that she’d do it. I shrugged as she wiped it with alcohol, lanced, wiped again, and took the reading from the second blood. 107. Good, cool, thanks.

When I went to check out from my visit at this Sliding Scale family practice, the office visit was the expected $15. But the BILL was $30. What’s the extra… “That’s for the blood glucose lab work.” WHAT lab work? “The finger stick.” Uhm, no.

Fact is, oh yes. They’re calling that a “Lab” procedure and charging for it, same as if they’d drawn blood and checked other levels. They’re calling it an “in-office” lab. Pointing out that I was already standing there, prepped to do it on my own, this got nowhere. Neither did pointing out the absurdity of paying twice the price of an office visit for something I do at least 3 times a day anyway.

Ranting on about how torqued I am about it won’t change anything so… I’ll just leave it at that I bought a $15 test strip today.

A $15 test strip and a new doctor? Diabetes care is expensive enough without your doctor gauging too.

Geez, that bothers me too. You would think they would at least try to please you since they’re guaranteed you’ll be a repeat customer (so to speak). Unfortunately.

Just when I think I’ve heard every level of ridiculousness when it comes to the cost of living with diabetes …

You win. The price was worth it, if only for the opportunity to share this story.

At least the nurse could have used the finger stick for an A1C test at the same time—which would have given you and the doc some information that would be useful. One blood glucose reading is NOT going to tell a doc “where you’re at.” Of course, the A1C as an in-office lab would have cost more than a mortgage payment …

About two months ago I went to a pain clinic for frozen shoulder.In the last two years Ive had surgery two times and over a year of physical therapy. The Dr’s. had given me all kinds of different pain drugs such as low tab and vicaden.Nothing was working so I decide to look into something else.When I get to the pain clinic they tell me they are going to give me a drug test.I tell them I don’t use drugs and do not want to pay for a drug test.The Dr. shook his head and thinking he understood me I took he test.Well the test came back negative because I had stoped taking even the vicaden months earlier (because it was not giving me any relief) Guess what I got a bill for $750 dollars for a drug test a month later.The Dr. at the pain clinic had given me some relief giving me shots of a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug but 750 for a drug test, I said I would not pay for.I called the clinic and complained but to no avail.I understand your complaint I really do. I guess its like going to a mechanic, they don’t want you to bring your own parts.They want to charge you a premium for the same thing you can do.

So what did he think the single blood-glucose reading 3 or so hours after a meal would tell him?!!

Well I have seen home drug tests at Walgreens for around $20 dollars.I dont want to rock the boat to bad with this Dr. though after two years of being in pretty bad pain he is the first to give me any relief.

I noticed that on my last check out form. They charged my insurance for the in-office finger stick as well. It did not go onto my lab bill though. Still…pretty shady.

If you’d taken your own they might have charged you anyway, like a ‘corking’ fee at a restaurant where they charge you for pouring the drinks even though you brought your own bottle.

Frankly, I’d be pretty torqued about it myself. But they charge for everything, don’t they? I remember my mother-in-law complaining about paying for a $30 aspirin.

Send your Doctor a bill for the time wasted waiting for him in the waiting room. My time is worth $80 an hour… how about yours?

Then write Presidant Obama and tell him about it… then write your news companies in the area and tell them about it.

Whoa, I’d be steaming! To think that they probably don’t even pay for strips since docs get tons of free samples, not this is why they charge. Next time you’re there, ask for some freebies to make up for this nonsense. I get a vial or two of free insulin whenever I go to my doctor, but I have to ask him for it.


When you asked “your meter or mine”, the answer should have been “ours cost $15”!

I think that you should write to someone about this.

wow, that is too much. It is simply no-sense to do that to patients that have a meter.

Sounds like what I went through at my last hospital visit. They tried to charge me for taking my on medication. I was told that if I brought my medications with me I could take them myself as long as I told the nurse when I took them. I even brought in my own insulin and test strips. The first shift of nurses had no problem with it. The second shift came in and told me that I could not do that. I pull out my 2 gallon bag of medications and she starts singing a different tune. I get a bill from the hospital for the medications that I was on at that time.

I did fight it and won because they could not find where the pharmacy had dispensed the medications for me to take.

Corking fee–that’s good! Maybe they could charge for the air we breathe in the waiting room, too.

That would make me mad too!

This is SO outrageous, JT!

These are some of the kinds of things that are so completely wrong about the health care system in the US.

PLEASE, don’t give them any ideas!

Oh heck no!

If I have my meter and my test strips with me ( I usually do as a pumper ) I am going to use those. I’ll be D*******d if you are going to charge me … for something I already have.

That is highway robbery and you definitely need to talk to someone about this.