Original Medicare embodies two segments: Part A and Part B. Eligibility is based on age, citizenship and, in some cases, disability. Most Medicare recipients pay no premium for Part A based on taxes paid for a certain period of time while working. For Part B, Medicare establishes a standard premium annually. Under certain circumstances, an individual’s premium may deviate up or down from this standard.
Part A is the hospital insurance portion of Medicare benefits, encompassing inpatient care in a hospital, religious nonmedical health care center or skilled nursing facility, excluding custodial or long-term care. Hospice care and home healthcare also fall under Part A. Medicare Part B is comprised of outpatient care, doctor visits, home health services and durable medical equipment. One of the services in this category is laboratory testing.
Medicare Benefits for Laboratory Tests
Part B includes coverage for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests that are medically necessary and ordered by a physician or medical practitioner. The results from blood tests, urinalysis, tissue specimens and some screening tests assist the doctor in diagnosing certain conditions and ruling out issues of a serious nature.
Typically, there is no out-of-pocket expense for these types of tests. The doctor’s office administrator or insurance specialist would submit the claim to Medicare for the service while the lab submits a separate claim for analyzing the sample. The administrator would share your medical insurance information with the lab so the lab can file directly.
Purpose of Urine Tests
Urine tests, or urinalysis, is a routine test patients undergo as part of a standard preventive exam. A urinalysis is typical during an annual checkup as it helps the doctor screen for, diagnose and monitor varied diseases, such as kidney ailments, urinary tract infections (UTIs), liver disorders and diabetes. The required sample size is only one to two ounces.
The reason that urine contents can reveal important markers for disorders is that it is produced by the kidneys, which has a regulatory function. The job of the kidneys is to conserve components that the body can reuse and sets in motion the elimination of anything not needed. Since the kidneys draw waste out of the blood, substances that do not normally appear in urine can be a telltale sign of an abnormal elevation of that particular substance in the blood. Urinalysis is a way to discover elements in urine that either should not appear at all or that are normally found but not in the amounts presented.
Preparing for the Urine Test
Before providing a sample for the test, be sure your doctor is up-to-date on any medications and non-medical supplements you take. Additionally, keep in mind that the first morning void is typically more concentrated, yielding more accurate results. However, if the test is needed to address a medical issue and not just a routine screening, confirm the timing with your doctor. The healthcare provider’s preference may depend on the findings anticipated. Allow the doctor to guide you for more accurate results.
To learn more about the detection process, when tests are ordered and how results are interpreted, one user-friendly resource is Lab Tests Online, which is a program under the domain of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC).