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Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. How much does self-testing cost?
  2. Is self-testing covered by insurance?
  3. What if my doctor doesn’t prescribe PT/INR self testing yet?
  4. Why should people who take daily anticoagulation medication now consider testing their INR levels once a week when once a month used to be often enough?
  5. Why are more doctors recommending that their patients self test? 
  6. Who trains the patient how to use the Remote Cardiac Services' PT/INR Self Test service?
  7. Can a patient sign up for this service on their own?
  8. What happens if the meter needs checking or repair?
  9. How will I get new supplies like test strips and lancets for the self test?

 

 

How much does it cost?

INR self-testing is a service that is typically covered by most insurance plans if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Mechanical Heart Valve
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Hypercoagulable State

 

Your “out-of-pocket” cost will vary, based on your health plan: Some plans cover it 100%, so it costs you nothing, and some plans require a co-payment amount that will vary by plan. Secondary policies will often cover the co-pay amount, so many people using our service pay very little or nothing at all.

You still need to know the cost of self-testing before deciding if it’s for you. That’s why the first thing Remote Cardiac Services does after we receive an enrollment form from your doctor is to contact your health plan and find out what they will pay. Then we call you and let you know, so you can make an informed decision about self-testing. You need to know what it will cost, and it’s our job at Remote Cardiac Services to help you find out.

So if INR self-testing sounds good to you, have your doctor’s office complete an enrollment form (download here) and fax it to us. We’ll check your insurance coverage and call you. Then you can decide if you want to self-test.

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Is self-testing covered by insurance?

Medicare has approved PT/INR self-testing for patients taking warfarin (Coumadin) and who have mechanical heart valves, chronic atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism and hypercoagulable state. While most health insurance companies have also approved reimbursement for the test, approval at other insurers may still be pending. If your doctor prescribes self-testing, leave it to our healthcare experts to help work through all the details with your insurer.

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What if my doctor doesn’t prescribe PT/INR self testing yet?

Since the test was approved for many conditions as recently as 2008, many doctors are still learning of its availability. If you like, we can provide you with information to bring to your doctor, and we can contact him directly to help make the test available.

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Why should people who take daily anticoagulation medication now consider testing their INR levels once a week when once a month used to be often enough?

Coumadin (warfarin) therapy must be closely managed because it has a narrow therapeutic range – too much can cause excessive bleeding and too little can cause clots which can lead to a stroke. Recent studies show that people on daily blood thinners who check their PT/INR levels at least once a week stay in range more frequently than those who test only once a month, and they have fewer complications. Since maintaining the proper PT/INR level can be difficult for many people, more frequent testing is recommended for patient safety and it allows the doctor to adjust medication dosage sooner, if needed.

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Why are more doctors recommending that their patients self test?

Self testing gives patients better control over their own health in several ways. First, it allows them to easily test more frequently, which has proven to help stay in range and avoid complications. Second,it allows them to test at home, reducing the cost, time and inconvenience of traveling to the lab or doctor’s office for a simple test. Lastly, because the doctor is alerted sooner to your test results, he or she can adjust your dosage more quickly in order to avoid any complications that might otherwise have occurred.

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Who trains the patient how to use the Remote Cardiac Services' PT/INR Self Test service?

Either Remote Cardiac Services or someone in the doctor’s office trains the patient how to use the portable self-testing meter, as well as how to call in the results after they test.

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Can a patient sign up for this service on their own?

Doctors must prescribe the service in order for a patient to be entitled to receive full or partial insurance reimbursement. For instance, patients can not begin the service until they have been on their anti-coagulation medication for three months, so it is important that you discuss this service with your doctor.

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What happens if the meter needs checking or repair?

The meter is provided to you on permanent loan for the duration of the time you participate in our service. These meters are highly reliable, but should one fail or need repair, Remote Cardiac Services will promptly provide a replacement at no charge.

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How will I get new supplies like test strips and lancets for the self test?

You will contact Remote Cardiac Services when you have about one month of supplies remaining, and we will send you a new shipment at no charge, so you will always have what you need. If you are planning to travel to a location where it may be difficult to receive mail, simply call us before you leave and we will send you extra supplies for the duration of your trip.

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