Last week, Alexis and I went to Dallas for a marketing seminar. I wanted Alexis to get some exposure to real world business and marketing people before she graduates high school this May. For me, it was just a reminder to get my newsletter out this month and to see all the marketing options I will probably never use. For over 20 years in Boulder, we have been a referral only practice and we continue to get nearly all our new patients from your wonderful recommendations and referrals. Thank you!
I am working on publishing a newsletter each month that will be mailed out like I used to do several years ago. I got lazy and thought that the email newsletter was adequate but it is only being received and opened by about 10% of our list. I know I personally get about 100 emails a day and 90% of it is junk so I see how our email newsletter gets lost in the shuffle. If you don’t receive a mailed newsletter from us in the next month, then we don’t have your correct address and we need it.
Blood Test Sale
Someone reminded me recently that this is the month that DirectLabs.com has their annual sale on the Comprehensive Wellness Panel. It is normally $97 but this month it is $59. Since we started using Principal Labs, I haven’t been recommending DirectLabs.com anymore. I just went on their website to re-check what all is covered in this test. It is a fair test but is missing some important markers like ferritin, vitamin D, HbA1C, 3 other iron tests, total T3, magnesium and a urine analysis. Vitamin D, which I’ve written about many times in the past, would be an additional $69 if added to the CWP.
Principal Labs charges $109 for The Sustain Plus test which has everything on the CWP plus all the additional important tests listed above so I think it’s a better deal. If you have a history of thyroid and/or heart problems, Principal Labs Comprehensive test for $199 checks all the above tests plus additional thyroid tests and some heart tests like fibrinogen, homocysteine, C-Reactive protein, etc. That is my preferred test and the $109 Sustain Plus is the bare minimum test I recommend to get a good idea of their health status.
Not Enough Testing
Today, medicine is being run by the insurance accountants and they will kick a doctor out of their program for testing too much. They do not believe in testing to determine health, just to diagnose disease. With companies like Principal Labs, they have packaged over $500 to $800 worth of tests into an affordably priced package that your insurance probably won’t cover. They will pay $200 for a blood profile that has 10-20 tests but they won’t pay $200 for a profile with 80 tests on it because there is not a specific diagnosis code to match with it.
Years ago, the standard Chem screen had 24 tests on it. Today, a Chem 7 is pretty standard. Were those 17 other tests unimportant? No, they still tell us lots of information but they are trying to cut costs. A complete thyroid panel has 10 different tests but most of the time they only test the TSH.
Urine tests are also important because they can pick up infections, dehydration and early signs of kidney failure. Your eGFR, BUN, Creatinine blood tests matched with protein in your urine will determine what stage of kidney failure you are in. The blood work alone only shows Stage 3 kidney failure and beyond. That’s the beauty of Principal Labs because they cover both blood and urine tests in most of their profiles.
This is one of the reasons I have been promoting, and have one myself, Health Savings Accounts. You can use those tax-deductible funds from your HAS to pay for your lab tests, medically necessary supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic care, etc. With the new Affordable Healthcare Act (ObamaCare), I’m not sure how the HSA’s are going to be treated so if you haven’t set up an HSA yet, you need to talk to someone who knows what the new law says. Regardless, I would check into it before the end of the year since, each year, new laws go into effect that changes the rules for new accounts.
With Christmas and New Year’s landing on a Tuesday this year, the office will be closed Dec 24, 25, 31 and January 1st. We will be open our normal hours the few days between the two holidays for patients to get in. It is usually a busy time for us so don’t wait until the last minute to schedule.
2013 marks my 30th year in practice with 23 of those years practicing here in Boulder. As my anniversary present to all of you, I’m giving you a 30% off coupon for one office visit that expires January 31, 2013. This is good for adjustments, acupuncture, graphs and nutrition testing done on that day. It does not apply to supplements or supplies and has no cash value.