Tests and procedures, like medications, can help or harm you. Before you agree to take a test or have a procedure, make sure you know as much as possible about them. You are entitled to this information under federal law. Ask your doctor:
- What is the test or procedure?
- Why do I need it?
- What will it do?
- What are the risks during the test or procedure, and what are the risks after its done?
- To describe the test/procedure: how it’s done, where it’s done, what it’s like (how long it takes, if it hurts), what to do before (such as fast), and what to expect after (stay home from work, ice the area, etc.)
- Do I have other options instead of the test or procedure? If yes, what are the risks and benefits?
- What happens if I don’t have the test or procedure?
- When will I get the results, how, and who will give them to me?
- What is the cost, and is it covered by my insurance?
Money Issues: Double check any information about your insurance with your insurer, and be aware that insurers can sometimes cover the cost of part of a test or procedure, not the whole thing.
Talk with your doctor if the test or procedure is not covered, or you can’t afford it. You may be able to set up a payment plan, get a discount, or your doctor may choose a different way to diagnose or treat you.