Doctors 'astounded' at Quest's practice
He became aware of the new Quest practice two months ago—sooner than most doctors—because he sends his patients to a Quest blood draw center down the hall within his building. He heard feedback right away.
"Patients started to mention they didn't get their A1c because the lab had handed them this form saying it wasn't covered. It didn't sound right at all, because it flies in the face of standard medical practice for diabetes care," he says.
He called Quest, whose administrator confirmed Quest's new policy, he says. He and the four other doctors in his building "were astounded."
Speckart says the A1c is the best way clinicians have to assure sufficient levels of blood sugar are maintained or whether insulin dosages should be altered. Failure to monitor quarterly can result in insidious deterioration to vascular and organ systems, such as eye, kidney, nervous system and heart. "Without this, the potential for getting out of control is obvious," he says.
"Clearly, whoever designed this form did not think what the impact would be," he says, adding that doctors who haven't seen this in their patients will just have to wait a few months, when their regular patients return for their quarterly visits without their A1cs.