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C Reactive Protein Test

have you or your husband/wife gotten this test? How much does it cost? apparently it measures a protein that indicates your risk of a heart attack.

Thu. Oct 4, 2:42pm

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probably costs about $100, like many tests. If this is part of a regular visit, this is the only extra charge. If you go just for this, you'll pay for the doctor visit as well.

Thursday, October 04, 2007, 4:13 PM

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This test shouldn't cost you anything (other than a co-pay) as long as you have insurance. I work in a lab and this test is fairly routine. Just ask your Dr. the next time you have a visit and Im sure that he/she wouldn't have a problem giving you a script to have it done.

Thursday, October 04, 2007, 8:58 PM

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Last time a family member had this test, LabCorp billed $71. Because of how the contract with our insurance administrator is structured, I can't see what they actually paid, but it was probably about $7. We pay a copay against all of the tests ordered on one day, so the copay was more than that, but included other things.
This test can reasonably be done in an office lab. One practice reports they charge $12 for it. Some insurers will not reimburse for tests in an office lab because they want to guarantee volume to an outside lab company in exchange for lower contract rates.
I've read that the instrument for the CRP test costs about $1500 and expendables cost about $4 per test. Obviously, there are other costs that have to be recovered such as rent, paying the staff, utilities, insurance, regulatory compliance, and so forth, so a markup is necessary.
It's fairly typical of lab tests that the stated list price and the real contract prices are widely different. While there are valid reasons for a spread in prices, I find it hard to imagine that a spread of 10 to 1 can be economically justified in a free and open competitive market. Yet it exists. I don't know if uninsured people are actually paying these exorbitant list prices, but the thought bothers me a lot.

Saturday, October 06, 2007, 8:49 PM

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