We have some exciting news! As some of you may know, after dealing with my own shock over the pricing of standard lab tests, I have been on the lookout for a cost-effective private lab company that can offer my patients both discounted cash-pay blood labs and quality customer service. My goal is to offer pricing transparency for lab work so my patients can be informed consumers.
After much research, I’m happy to say we’ve finally found the solution. We recently partnered with Ulta Lab Tests, a lab company that offers deeply discounted pricing for the various labs I recommend. Using this new program, we’ve negotiated significant pricing discounts for our cash paying patients, which means you can save up to 80% off hundreds of lab tests. There are no hidden fees or EOBs, and absolutely no BS! Additionally, I have chosen not to take any additional commissions from Ulta – so all the savings can be passed along to my patients.
How it works:
- Dr. Tummala will recommend your custom lab tests.
- Order and pay for your lab tests through Ulta’s convenient microsite specifically created for Trinergy Health. Click here to check it out!
- Have your blood drawn at numerous convenient lab locations close to where you live or work.
- Within a few business days, your results will be ready for you to access through the patient portal on Ulta’s website (please note it may take up to 7-10 business days for complex tests).
- Dr. Tummala will also be able to review your results and advise accordingly.
Who should use Ulta labs vs. their own PCP’s office/hospital:
Frankly, in my humble opinion, everyone!
When we recommend labs, please first go to your PCP’s office to see if they will run them for you. Then, ask the billing department, what your expected co-pay/out of pocket expense is going to be. If they cannot answer, call your insurance company and have them give you an exact figure. Compare this figure (your out of pocket expense) with Ulta labs pricing and make your decision.
Just go to Ulta labs 😊. I know that for me and my family, Ulta labs will be cheaper.
An Example of the Potential Savings:
Basic Baseline Marker – 4 Test Panel
- Market Price is $252. This is the average market (inflated) price patients can expect to pay using other labs especially if insurance does not cover it due to your high deductible.
- Ulta’s price for the same test is only $62. That’s a savings of $190!
Dr. Tummala’s Story:
Back in 2016, when I was still working for a local hospital, I thought I had the “Cadillac” of health insurance policies. As part of an annual check-up for my husband and I, our primary care doctor ordered a standard panel of tests. If I remember correctly, they were CBC, metabolic panel, TSH, Vit D and B12 levels.
I was not prepared for what happened next. We went to the lab, presented our insurance cards, and got our results in a week. All seemed fine. Fast forward a month later, when I received the EOB (explanation of benefits) from the insurance company and a bill for $2,500.00 from the lab we had gone to (this lab was located within the hospital my PCP was a part of).
Apparently, we had the high deductible insurance plan that does not cover some of the labs as part of annual well checks. I asked for a breakdown of the lab pricing, which was an eye-opening experience for me. Among other things, I just could not understand why the Vitamin D was charged at $289.00 for each of us. After all, this is not new technology. Especially, as I knew that a private lab I used for methylation gene testing were offering Vit D levels for $39.00.
I called the lab and asked if they could give me an out-of-pocket discount. But as you probably guessed, no discounts were offered. So eventually I paid the entire amount. But the injustice of it all rankled with me. I can’t imagine how anyone can afford to cough up money like that. Why was I not made aware of this before? The convenient response is, “pricing and coverage is based on your insurance policy terms.”
Over the years, I became more aware of such injustices. For instance, in my private practice, I began to order a similar battery of tests with the intention of finding the root cause of my patients’ psychiatric presentations. But insurance would deny coverage for the lab because they did not accept my psychiatric diagnoses as valid reasons for the lab tests I was ordering! Reality is that I have been the first to diagnose autoimmunity (elevated ANA titers), Hashimoto’s (elevated thyroid antibodies) for my patients despite these patients going to their PCP’s for similar complaints that brings them to me.
Since then, I have been on the lookout for a private pay lab that is reasonably priced and provides quality service. I’m excited to partner with Ulta and finally offer affordable labs with pricing transparency to my patients!
Finally, for those who are interested to understand why US health care system is in such shambles (high costs and poor outcomes), here is a wonderful explanation by none other than, Dr Mehmet Oz.