Mobile heart unit offers tests at low cost

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana heart hospital is hitting the road to offer lifesaving cardiac tests at a fraction of the price they’d cost in hospitals.

Parkview Heart Institute unveiled its mobile screening coach last week. The customized bus allows four health care workers to administer six different heart tests to patients in two private examination rooms.

The Journal Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/16FbxZp ) the tests cost between $99 and $347. A package including all six tests can be purchased for $179. Parkview spokesman Eric Clabaugh said the same tests would cost $2,300 in a hospital.

Chad Carpenter, the heart institute’s chief operating officer, said the mobile coach makes it convenient for patients to undergo screenings that could prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The mobile unit doesn’t accept insurance, but patients can seek reimbursement from their health insurers.

Parkview can keep the costs down because the mobile unit has less overhead and the heart institute underwrites some of the costs.

The coach has seen 97 patients in less than two months on the road. Of those, tests revealed a previously undetected abnormality in 60 people, hospital officials said.

One patient needed immediate care for a serious condition.

Test results are read by board-certified doctors and made available within a few days by email and U.S. mail. Those who lack a cardiologist or primary care doctor are referred to someone a Parkview provider, Clabaugh said.

Tests are available by appointment. No doctor’s referral is required.

Parkview plans to park the mobile unit at retailers and workplaces in northeastern Indiana. Appointments can be made online at http://www.parkviewhealthfair.com .

No doctor’s referral is required.

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Information from: The Journal Gazette, http://www.journalgazette.net

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