Expensive Blood Tests

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Kyle’s veins seemed to be playing Hide and Seek. They were so visible, yet when I inserted the needle, nothing came out. He was accumulating a few Band-Aids. We laughed that it looked like he had been in a fight! He was a good sport about it, searching for another site to try.

I’m not a phlebotomist. I’m a Family Practice doctor with my own practice, trying to save him money. He didn’t have insurance, so he knew my price would be so much better than going to the lab. He is a trucker, needing to show that his diabetes is under control. He needed a simple A1C, which would cost him $12.92 through me ($2.92 for the A1C and my $10 drawing fee – yes, that’s all!). He needed the results that week, and the day we tried to draw his labs was the only time he would be in town.

Finally, after several tries I gave up. He promised he would remove the Band-Aids, evidence of my failed attempts, before he headed to the lab for a phlebotomist to draw his blood.

When I next saw him, Kyle told me what the A1C had cost him at the lab — $161 – more than 12 times what it would have cost in my office!

I hope next time his veins are more cooperative. I have more labs I want to check on him.