The Middleman is Caught
Making an Extra Buck
Like many of my fellow NOIDS who go to specialists, after my surgery I began having bloodwork done regularly - every three months. My specialist was far away in the deep south and I'm up north so I also maintained a relationship with a regional hospital in Reading PA until I moved to the Philadelphia area again. I had a copesetic relationship with Reading Hospital.They were to use the protocols of my specialist and stop asking me about Interferon. The local Quest was okay for my chromogranin A, serotonin, and the jug - 5-HIAA. But in Pennsylvania they refused to do a courtesy draw for pancreastatin and neurokinin A. This was Dutch country my fellow patients. So, I figured that I could have the draw done at the Reading lab and they could forward it to ISI in California. The first time was reminiscent of the three stooges.
I had to call to have the procurement department order the Z tubes. Then call to make certain that Reading had received them. Then call to make certain they were in the refrigerator in the blood lab. When I arrived for my appointment they never could find the tubes. I took the liberty of searching every refrigerator there until I found them. Then I had to make certain - every single time that I was there - that they would be sent on dry ice and spun that very same day. Plus I'm a difficult stick. I was not at my most pleasant. This went on for about 2 years and then one day I noticed I was missing the neurokinin A results. And, Cambridge Labs was listed as "Test Performed By". Huh? So, I dug deeper. Inter Science never received the Z tubes. Cambridge Labs did and performed the pancreastatin assay. I called Inter Science but they couldn't do anything to help the situation, so we waited till it was time for the next series of assays to do the neurokinin A. In the meantime, Inter Science asked if I would tell them what Cambridge Labs and Mayo Clinic said when I called them. Ultimately, it was about the money. (Cambridge was cheaper) I called Mayo knowing I would not be well received. Mayo, in no uncertain terms told me they never speak to patients and they do not send tests to ISI. And they don't vary their procedures.The image above is proof otherwise. I actually called three different people and one of them gave me Cambridge's phone number. Mayo had never notified ISI, the patients, or their doctors that they were no longer forwarding the assays to ISI. I never understood why Reading Hospital couldn't forward the Z tubes directly to ISI but I was told that you have to have an account with them and Reading Hospital did not.
If a NET patient sees a specialist and a local doctor, and your specialist feels that getting a pancreastatin and neurokinin A, or any other assay would benefit you, but your local provider disagrees, then ask your specialist for a script for the test and have the results sent to your specialist. You could/should disclose this to your local doctor to see if he wants a copy.
It's nothing personal.
I discovered that they, Cambridge, had thrown out the second Z tube and never performed the neurokinen A assay - I don't think they had the capability at that point. I asked him why they didn't call the issuing doctor. No answer from the service rep. I reported back to ISI and so that's why our NET community wound up with Lab Corp. doing the courtesy draws across the U.S.
By now I've forgotten some of the story but did call ISI and tell them what was happening.