I am 45 years old but recently received some mail from Life Line Screening. I can get any vascular screening for just $60 or all 5 screenings for $149! Hooray, this is my lucky day. Stroke awareness is good they say but stroke prevention is better. They also recommend anyone over 50 who wants to be proactive about his or health get screened. The tests in their package I believe includes a carotid doppler, ankle-brachial indexes for PAD, an ultrasound for AAA, bone density scan of some type and and an EKG. I use the term "I believe" because they don't detail the tests and I am just postulating. In their FAQ, they say that doctors don't do these screenings because insurance won't cover them. Lifeline's goal is to "identify individuals with significant disease through the screening process, before a problem occurs".
I get tons of patients coming in with results from Life Line screenings. Most are Medicare patients, the same patients who refused to ever pay out of pocket for a complete physical in the days when Medicare didn't pay for such (now they have some type of Wellness Exams). Remember the ones on the fixed income? The same patients that refuse to have balanced billing? I will let that point go for now. Life Line never explains the real reason that no one covers these tests. The real truth is that many of these tests are covered for the right patient at the right age. If we did them on everyone there would be a tremendous cost and a lot of false positives leading to more workups and more costs. In fact, Life Line could prove that if they released their own results. Of the millions they have screened, how many positive findings turned out to be beneficial? Take that number and compare it to the cost of their testing. I challenge them to release their data.