What are they scanning for?
I bought a groupon for a full body scan for myself and my wife. When I made an appointment they said we would need to sit through a consultation about services they offer and it would take about an hour. That and a couple of other things threw up some flags. Anyone have any experience with them?
What are they scanning for?
This was the groupon: Advanced Body Scan Deal of the Day | Groupon Oklahoma City
I have a regular doctor who takes pretty good care of me. I haven't asked him about it. Thought I would send the results over and check in with him later.
So, the doctor they have listed for this deal seems to be a general surgeon. I don't know him personally. I think EBT scans are an OK screening tool for the heart if you realize all they're really looking for is calcium. You shouldn't have calcium in your coronary arteries and if you do, it probably means you at least need to discuss the results with your internist, as it could indicate coronary artery disease. The value of any sort of scan looking for lung tumors (if that's what they're looking for) in an early stage, if you're a non-smoker especially, is limited. It's far more likely to find something benign that will cause more trouble to remove than the risk is worth than it will locate a lung cancer. If you're a smoker, discuss the benefit with your doctor. I'd want a radiologist reading my scan, however, so I'd make sure whoever is reading it is a board certified radiologist.
Reminds me a wee bit of those offers (a ways back) for two free nights and X$ meal credit ... all you need do is attend a brief sales presentation.
Normally I'd say to tell them you're not sitting through their dog-and-pony show, just give me what I paid for - but, then I read the Groupon and it clearly says "$87 for a heart and lung scan with consultation (a $1,265 value)"
Wife bought a Groupon the other day for something - called to redeem it and they said they didn't have any openings until Aug or September. I'm not a big fan of these Groupons that sell thousands for that very reason.
No space for almost six months or longer? The few I've ever purchased had a use or lose within six months.
I do get the consultation hook though. At the core, Groupons are simply lead generators. A company gives a break to entice someone in, and pays someone else to get the word out. Makes sense they'd want to consult to pitch their available services. Still reminds me a tetch of the old time share spiels though (which I suppose still exist in some market areas).
Thanks for the info on scans.
I've had pretty good luck with a couple of other groupons I've bought, one for mowing lawns and one for a class. Seems like my kids might have had some eating out deals that worked out okay too. However, I think this one might be too much pitch and too little reward. Besides their own marketing, I can only find one online reference about them, and it isn't pretty.
Although I didn't look at the "Advanced Body Scan" offer, I have purchased about fifteen Groupon offers and have always been pleased with what I received for the money. I suppose it's like anything else, be sure and read the fine print before purchasing one.
I signed up for a screening at my church years ago, and then called my doctor while I was waiting to be called. He laughed: "Look around the waiting room. You're the youngest person there by how many years?" I receive good medical care and am in good shape so he told me not to expect much from the results (they were negative), but to expect a lot of followup mailings, phone calls, emails and hard sells for other tests and products. He was right on that one also!
I did one of these (with a groupon) a few moths back. I bought the heart and lung scan groupon. You basically sit through an hour-long sales pitch before they take you in to do the scan, which takes all of 2 minutes. The results are very basic, you don't get a CD with the images, you just get a paper report written in medical terminology by a doctor in CA mailed to you with a few images that look like they were printed on a low quality inkjet printer. I showed it to my doctor and I'm fine in case anyone is worried.
I knew what the consultation was about before I went as one of my coworkers had done it a few months prior. They want you to bring your spouse if you are married so that you can make the big financial decision without getting the easy out of "let me talk with my wife about it". Its basically a hard sell wrapped up in a package that guilts you into buying one of their full scan packages. They do give your spouse a free heart scan if you bring them. I didn't and you could tell it totally pissed them off and they kept bringing it up. The guy kept emphasizing that I was doing her a disservice by not bringing her. I thought that was amusing. My wife just didn't want to do it as she knew it was going to be like sitting through a timeshare presentation. They are selling packages of full body scans for thousands of dollars. I think it was around $11k or $12k for the full package, which gives you one scan per year for both your spouse and you for ten years. This also includes one additional scan if your doctor finds something and requests another. Its not a bad deal if you need a yearly scan, and they do hammer you with statistics about how early detection is key for many health problems, but in my mind, the cost outweighs the risks. I would be comfortable with a scan every 3-5 years, but I guess that's not profitable enough for them (and its not covered by insurance).
As for the scans, I spoke with my doctor and he pretty much agreed with my research that tells me that they are a good diagnostic tool for finding calcium build-ups, but they tend to have more false positives. In my mind, I'd rather err on that side than to miss something, but some argue that false positives lead to unnecessary worry and expense with follow-up diagnostics. They also offer and showed a demonstration video of a "virtual colonoscopy" (at additional cost, I don't believe it was included in the full body scan). That looks pretty cool, but again, the cost outweighs the risk in my mind. If these were just a couple hundred dollars, I might think about it, but I believe they were around $1,700 or so (that's if prices haven't gone up, which they kept hammering that they probably would in the next year or so - standard sales tactic to get you to buy a package to lock in your price now. I declined all offers and just went with what the groupon bought me.
Pricing info is on their site.
Last edited by MadMonk; 02-21-2013 at 08:23 AM. Reason: Added pricing link
Thanks for the info. That's a little more balanced than the other reviews I've read around the internet since I bought the groupon. There are reviews at Superpages for Advanded Body Imaging and comments about the OKC company at the end of a review of Life Test of Georgia at Scam Informer that aren't nearly as kind.
I bought this after my wife agreed to go. I take better care of myself than she does and I do see a competent doctor while she doesn't. But she's not going after reading the reviews and I don't have the patience to sit through a bunch of sales BS for something I'm not going to buy in exchange for a test of debatable value.
The Groupon was available yesterday and listed as an OKC top pick so I guess it's working for some, Groupon and ABI the most I'd guess.
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