New Test for heart, hs-CRP?

Just as reported in the recent news, the test is not new, nor is the application.  So why do so few people actually get the hs-CRP?

Well, yes, payment, that is one issue.  Medicaid does not pay for this test if there is not a pre-existing symptom or disease that requires it to be run.  It is not done routinely with any healthcare policies, however, it may, may, be covered by some insurance policies.  It is not listed as a preventative blood test, similar to how you may think of as mammogram or colonoscopy.  Further, if you do not have insurance, it may be harder to have the test run.  The physician does not necessarily want to run optional tests that may provide a random diagnosis.  This may prove to have increased expenses and a wild goose chase with limited resources.  Why?

Standard of care:  it is listed as a requirement to be run in very few diseases.  Most important to remember:  when a doctor orders a test, he cannot just run it randomly because you asked.  He must have a medical reason to order it, as noted by the insurance codes used for your visit.  Furthermore, if he/she runs this test, they must know how to treat the disease, or don’t run the test.  You are then referred out to another specialist to have their input and they can run the test.

Remember:  if you test, you must treat and diagnose.  That is a golden physician rule.

So, what do you do as a patient?  Discuss the test, discuss your symptoms, and then discuss with your physician what his plan is.  Trust what is being recommended if you are working with a dr. you trust.  Have heart (!) your Dr. is not trying to steer you off course, he has his outcomes of disease to think about.  He wants all his patients well.