Hospital launches low-cost lab test pilot program

HANCOCK COUNTY — Some 30 labs and screenings now are available at a lower cost at Hancock Health locations — and without a physician having to order them.

The hospital unveiled a new website for the low-cost lab program, hancocklabs4u.com, where patients may select the tests they want to order at a cost of $20 to $140 and pay with a Visa, MasterCard, health savings account or flexible spending account card. Tests, which range from HIV screenings to blood-typing, cannot be billed to insurance.

The option is aimed at people who either can’t afford the cost of labs and screenings at the hospital or those who have restrictively high deductibles, said Janet Strauch, director of laboratory services.

The program replaces Heartbeats Health Festival, a 34-year annual health fair that offered low-cost blood work and diagnostic imaging screenings. Officials say for the past few years, the festival’s attendance has declined, prompting them to search for another way to serve county residents.

Patients now will be able to purchase the tests and have them administered at three locations — Hancock Regional Hospital, 801 N. State St., Greenfield; Parkway Imaging Center, 300 E. Boyd Ave., Greenfield; or Hancock Health Center, 8535 N. Clearview Drive, McCordsville.

It’s an effort to help the community be healthier and save money, said Hancock Regional Hospital CEO Steve Long.

“It’s a motivating effort for patients to be intensive and get their tests done,” he said.

The program was first rolled out for only Hancock Health employees in the last two months, Strauch said. About 100 people have used the hospital’s new website to order tests, she said.

Officials have been cautious about the pilot program’s roll-out because they’re trying to balance the service of providing labs and screenings at a lower cost to people who might not be able to afford them and losing clients in a profitable department, said the hospital’s chief operating officer, Rob Matt.

Labs and screenings at hospitals are expensive for several reasons, Matt said; foremost among them is the overhead cost of operating a large facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Another reason Hancock Health has decided to offer the program is to continue its efforts to move toward more proactive care, not only treating people who come into the hospital but increasing options to prevent patients from needing to set foot inside its doors, Matt said.

“Getting screenings done is a critical way for people to maintain their health status,” he said. “We are encouraging people to get their screenings done and stop health conditions earlier than later.”

Strauch said the pilot program offers nearly 20 more tests or screenings than were offered during the Heartbeats Health Festival and comes with the convenience of patients being able to schedule an appointment or walk into one of the three sites.

Hospital staff members are planning some sort of health fair for this year, but it will not feature the low-cost labs offered in the past, Matt said. Leaders decided to end the Heartbeats health festival after several years of declining attendance, he said.

“Heartbeats as we know it is over,” he said. “We think this is a better alternative.”

How to schedule a test or screening

To schedule a low-cost lab or screening:

1. Go to hancocklabs4u.com

2. Select the tests you want to order

3. Place test in your cart

4. Pay for tests online, using Visa, MasterCard, health savings account or flexible spending account cards

5. Print confirmation and bring to registration

Available tests or screenings

Complete Blood Count: $20

Complete Metabolic Panel: $30

Lipid Panel: $20

Liver Function Panel: $20

Vitamin D (25-Hydroxy): $75

Prostate Specific Antigen: $35

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: $35

Thyroid Screen: $100

B12 and Folates: $90

A1c Hemoglobin: $25

Hepatitis B Surface Antibody: $50

Hepatitis C Antibody: $100

Measles Antibody: $45

Mumps Antibody: $45

Rubella Antibodies: $45

Varicella Zoster Antibodies: $45

Urinalysis: $35

Urine Qualitative Pregnancy Test: $25

Drug Screen, Urine: $40

Chlamydia trachomatis/Neisseria gonorrhoeae (urine): $110

Syphilis Screening Cascade: $50

HIV Screen and Confirmation: $50

Blood Type: $30

Men’s Health Screen: $125

Women’s Health Screen: $125

Nutritional Health Screen: $140

Anemia Panel: $50

Chemistry Screen: $45

Measles, Mumps and Rubella Antibodies: $90

MMRV Antibodies: $120

Author photo
Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.