Preventive health screenings are gaining in popularity, but are they really worth it?
What Life Line Screening Does
Life Line Screening can examine your body in three different ways. The first one is ultrasound. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create a picture of the organs within the body. During the test, the sound waves travel to the organ or area in question, and they return echoes that are recorded.
The History of Ultrasound
The first people to take advantage of this technology were soldiers during World War II, and they used it to find objects that had been hidden, but the medical community has taken control of it in later years. The areas that take advantage of ultrasound the most are cardiology, ophthalmology and obstetrics. That is how most people have become familiar with ultrasound because it was being used to monitor the developing fetus.
At Life Line Screening, they use Doppler color flow ultrasound technology, and it provides them with excellent images of the subject. It can be conveniently used to determine the bone mineral density in patients suspected of being at risk for osteoporosis and in ankle-brachial index screening for those who may be at risk of peripheral artery disease. There are also screenings for carotid artery disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm as well.
Finger-Stick Blood Screenings
Life Line Screening can also offer finger-stick blood screenings, and these screenings are extremely easy to conduct. All that is required is a pin prick on the finger to extract a few drops of blood. There is no need to be concerned about these types of tests because the FDA approved of the instruments that Life Line Screening uses. In fact, Life Line Screening uses the same techniques that were adopted by laboratories, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and major hospitals all over the country. After the test is done, you will receive the results in less than 10 minutes.
You will be able to have blood screening for the following:
- Elevated liver enzymes
- High-insensitivity C-reactive protein that measures the existence of cardiovascular disease
- Glucose levels to determine diabetes risk
- Good cholesterol, bad cholesterol and triglycerides
The last test is the limited electrocardiograph. Life Line Screening uses the “EKG” to detect the presence of an irregular heartbeat that can lead the patient toward experiencing a stroke. Life Line Screening’s EKG screening is so easy and convenient that you are not required to remove any clothing or prepare for it in any way. It is also non-invasive and fast.
Reasons to Have Screenings
You may have been in good health all of your life and are now wondering why you would need to have this type of screening done. The simple truth is that our health changes as we grow older, and we are more likely to develop age-related diseases when this occurs. This is the case even if you are lucky enough to be able to maintain the healthy lifestyle that you enjoyed in your younger years. This means that cardiovascular disease and stroke are possibilities for all of us. After you reach the age of 55, your risk of having a stroke doubles with every decade.
The scary thing is that your body experiences these changes without your knowledge, so you aren’t experiencing any warnings. The one thing that can ease your mind is regular screenings. When you have these screenings, your physician will find out about a medical condition in enough time to combat the problem. Life Line Screening has an excellent track record in finding potentially serious health issues. As a matter of fact, 62,000 people were found to be at risk of a cardiovascular condition or stroke in the last year alone1.
How Do You Prepare for a Screening?
Preparing for a screening is a very simple process. Preparation for screening for carotid artery disease only requires that you wear a shirt with an open collar. It should also have short sleeves. No turtle necks are allowed!
The screening for atrial fibrillation or stroke is a little bit more extensive, but it is very easy as well. Make sure that you are wearing a two-piece outfit, such as a shirt and pants or a skirt. These clothes must not be tight. You will have to forgo the pantyhose, a watch and oil or lotion. Your cell phone will need to remain off throughout the procedure.
If you are being screened for an aortic abdominal aneurysm, wear a comfortable, two-piece, loose-fitting outfit. Follow all of your diabetic plans as prescribed, and take all of your prescription medications. You will need to fast for four hours before this screening is done. If you have the opportunity to eat before the procedure, have a light meal four hours before. Also, leave foods that cause gas on the table.
- For screening for peripheral arterial disease, a two-piece, loose-fitting outfit is required. Your shirt or blouse must have short sleeves, and you must not wear pantyhose
- No preparation is required for the test for elevated C-reactive protein or elevated liver enzymes.
- Before you undergo a complete lipid panel or a glucose screening, you must fast for 12 hours.
- Pantyhose may not be worn for the bone mineral density screening.
Unfortunately, Medicare and Medicaid do not pay for these types of screenings. In most cases, private insurances will not pay for them either. Sometimes, private insurance companies will agree to pay for these screenings, so Life Line Screening will list a Tax ID number and a “Medicare Denial Code” on every customer receipt. The denial code allows Medicare to bill the secondary insurance company for the procedure.
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The Benefits of Screening
The benefits of receiving a Life Line Screening cannot be overstated. For example, you will not know that your cholesterol is starting to increase because you will not experience any symptoms, but your body will continue to be damaged as time goes by. After years have passed and your blood vessels have been irreparably damaged, diseases are much harder to treat. There is also the possibility of an aortic aneurysm that can worsen without treatment and eventually burst. Sometimes, ruptured aneurysms cause immediate death. Research demonstrates that these conditions can be successfully treated when they are caught in an early stage, so these conditions do not have to be death sentences for a lot of people.
The same is true of the first heart attack a person experiences. Before that occurs, the patient may have been living an unhealthy lifestyle for several years and causing damage to his or her arteries. With screening, the patient learns that there is a problem early on, and he or she can decide to exercise more, make healthier food choices and stop smoking to reduce the risk of a heart attack.
One last consideration is not as important as your health, but it still is very important. Treating a patient for a stroke, heart attack or diabetes is much more expensive than treating him or her before these conditions present themselves. The most important thing is maintaining good health, but saving money is something that we must strive to do as well. Therefore, we have two very good reasons to submit to preventative health screening, and Life Line Screening is here to make it happen.