Additionally, he says some of his patients now ask, "'Why is Dr. Speckart doing this if the government doesn't pay for it?' It probably undermines the confidence they have in us. Because of this, some of our physicians have elected not to use Quest anymore for lab work."
Kim Gotfredson, Quest's Senior Client Liaison for the Los Angeles Metro office, which covers services in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial counties, explained the new policy to HealthLeaders Media.
Quest: denying testing "is not our practice"
"Sometimes a provider doesn't necessarily know that the patient went somewhere else and had that test done. That's where it gets difficult. That patient may have gone to a specialist at one point, and then to a PCP (primary care provider) at another point, and that communication didn't get back to the specialist," she says.
Has this resulted in some patients walking away without getting the test? "Yes, for some of them that does happen, but not that much. A lot of patients do know this is not going to be an issue because they haven't had the test done for over three months," she said.
Gotfredson agrees that a patient who might see this form could misunderstand and "opt not to have the test done and that's not good patient care. I totally get where ... Dr. Speckart is coming from." Gotfredson said she would take it up with other Quest managers, however she emphasized that patients are not being asked to pay $66 up front.
"It's not that this has been denied, because it hasn't been billed yet," she said.