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Medical Screening Delays Can Lead to Adverse Outcomes

LabFinder

LabFinder Co-Founder Dr. Robert Segal Offers Explanations for Barriers to Medical Testing and Tips on Workarounds Like MinuteMed

For those who are without a physician or require a relatively quick consultation, “there are services to help, such as MinuteMed.”
— Dr. Robert Segal
NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, May 4, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- Delaying medical tests and follow-up care due to cost challenges, fear, or simply lack of a physician can lower quality of life, increase risk of hospitalization, and lead to adverse – and potentially dire – health outcomes, warns Robert Segal MD, Cardiologist and co-founder and CEO of LabFinder.

“Screenings of ‘red flag’ symptoms that might suggest the presence of cancer or cardiovascular disease and regular testing of blood pressure and levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream should never be put off. Undiagnosed high cholesterol or high blood pressure can lead to kidney disorders, heart attack, or a debilitating stroke,” says Dr. Segal.

Experts underscore Dr. Segal’s comments.
Authors of a study published in a 2020 issue of the BMJ Public Health journal determined that even a four-week delay in treating cancer following testing and diagnosis is associated with increased mortality from seven cancer types, including breast, colon, lung, and cervix (bit.ly/43ui3Dz). An online Consumers Report article contends “screenings done at the right age and frequency can cut the risk of colorectal cancer death by as much as half, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS),” while a blood pressure test for early detection and treatment of hypertension might reduce the incidence of heart attack and stroke by more than 20 percent (bit.ly/4199i0b).

Dr. Segal offers that people delay medical testing for many reasons. Some are simply afraid of doctors and medical tests and the potential of being diagnosed with a series disease. Others find the red tape to get a script for a test daunting, or don’t have a doctor to write a script in the first place. And some are fearful of the costs.

His understanding of the many reasons why individuals fail to seek timely lab and radiology testing led Dr. Segal to develop LabFinder, an online scheduling platform for laboratory and radiology appointments. The system provides a seamless, stress-free medical experience by connecting patients, doctors, and lab and radiology centers and offering timely test scheduling. It also serves as one central repository for users’ testing results. Most importantly, test results are released simultaneously to patient and clinician and are often available in LabFinder in as little as 24 hours – a digital feat that puts the service in the vanguard of the “eHealth” revolution.

For those who are without a physician or require a relatively quick consultation, “there are services to help, such as MinuteMed,” says Dr. Segal. MinuteMed is described as a “virtual primary care team…of experienced U.S. board-certified physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners” who partner with LabFinder and use telehealth technology to give patients the “access and answers they need…to make right decisions about their well-being.”

“MinuteMed is a low-cost service, through which patients can receive physician scripts to undergo specific medical tests. Medical insurance is not required to access this service,” Dr. Segal explains. “Once patients have their scripts, they can use LabFinder to schedule their screenings,” Dr. Segal explains.

He emphasizes, however, MinuteMed is not a substitute for an acute or emergent problem, does not offer refills of medication prescriptions, and is currently available in only specific regions of the country.

Telehealth programs -- like MinuteMed – offer a variety of advantages, including easy connection with a physician, “but the technology should only be used when the occasion warrants. It only supplants, not replaces, face-to-face interaction and in-office physician examination,” Dr. Segal says.

“Whatever the barrier, patients should seek workarounds to get the care and necessary screenings – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – that they need,” Dr. Segal says. He offers the following testing tips:
• If you do not have a regular physician, contact an area hospital, laboratory, walk-in clinic, MinuteMed, or other community resource to inquire about screening services. Some facilities will not require a physician’s order for specific tests. Those that do may have the necessary physicians on site to write you a script for a screening.
• If costs are an issue or medical insurance is lacking, call the local health department regarding free, low-cost screening programs in the area or LabFinder. And check your potential eligibility for enrolling in a basic health insurance plan.
• If fear of doctors or doctor offices is the issue, start off with a telehealth program first. Get gradually comfortable with the health professionals you consult until becoming ready to commit to personal interactions in a physician’s office. As for testing results, if they indicate you have a problem, feel relieved. That means you can get treated early and avoid an outcome that may be less than desirable – or, perhaps, too late.

Bio: Robert Segal MD, board-certified in cardiovascular disease, echocardiography, and nuclear cardiology. He is founder of Manhattan Cardiology and Medical Offices of Manhattan, and Co-Founder of LabFinder. https://www.labfinder.com/

About: LabFinder is a consumer-facing platform that transforms the patient experience through seamless lab & radiology testing, guiding patients to conveniently located testing centers, handling appointment bookings, offering telehealth services, and allowing patients to review their test results all in one place. LabFinder supports patients through their care journey from booking to billing—reducing expenses, hurdles, and frustrations. www.labfinder.com.

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