Letters to the Editor
My husband and I thoroughly agree with Sheryl Moore’s letter in last week’s newspaper concerning the discontinuing of the annual Health Screening labs sponsored by the local hospital during National Hospital Week each May.
We centered our medical care around the annual screening, and the only prescription I take is for a condition discovered by Chris Seyler, PAC, from lab results many years ago. I don’t know how long it would have taken to be diagnosed had it not been for the annual screening. Because of Medicare and our private insurance, we pay nothing out of pocket for our care, but neither of us wants Medicare billed for exorbitantly expensive procedures unnecessarily. We’ve been more careful about going to the clinic for any kind of immunization since learning Safeway Pharmacy gives the same service at a much lower cost, and our daughter who works in health care in Arizona tells us this is the case, as well, with the clinic where she is employed. They tell their patients they can get immunizations for much less at pharmacies, and recommend that they go there.
We learned this by experience, and discussed the issue with Coulee Medical Clinic billing personnel and won’t make the same mistake again. As I said, we didn’t have to pay this, but Medicare did, and we both feel we would rather not have Medicare billed to the max for things we can do for much less with another provider.
We are so pleased with our primary care physicians at Coulee Medical Center and we are grateful for such an excellent hospital right in our own community, but I feel the decision makers made a big mistake in eliminating what they say was a service that was against the law. I know of two other hospitals who still offer the reduced cost health screening labs, so I know there has to be more to it than that. Until the annual labs take place again, we’ll be doing as-needed medical care, not the preventive approach we took previously.