Save a life with 21st-century diagnostics

Save a life with 21st-century diagnostics

By Paul Breslau, Breslau Insurance & Benefits Inc.

Do you know someone who has an undiagnosed chronic condition?

What if that condition is caused by a “bug”? Have you ever watched the TV shows Monsters Inside Me or Something’s Killing Me? For many of the real-life cases highlighted by these TV shows, it often takes months or sometimes years to diagnose what is ailing a person with a condition that is hard to diagnose. Ultimately, many of these conditions are caused by a critter, a live organism. Why does it take so long?

Most conventional tests look for a specific marker for a specific organism only.  Traditionally, there were (and still are) a few hundred tests to look for a few thousand species. For example, only 1 to 2 percent of bacteria will grow in a culture, which is a favored test technique for finding bacteria. Another test method is a PCR DNA-type test, looking for one specific marker for an organism. If the symptoms that present themselves are not readily tied to specific conditions, such as Lyme disease, strep or valley fever, the medical practitioner must rely on a trial-and-error method to look for the cause. This may require the physician to order a dozen tests that may cover up to a couple hundred species. Sometimes these tests can cost several thousand dollars. Many organisms exist in polymicrobial communities. Companion species are often missed.

ARCpoint Labs of Scottsdale North offers two tests that cover up to 48 million species between the two tests. One test is called pan-bacterial and covers all known bacteria (single-cell without nucleus). The other test is called pan-eukaryotic and covers all multi-cell organisms with a nucleus – mostly protozoa, algae and fungi. These tests use a technique called Next Generation Sequencing genetic testing – looking for the DNA of the organisms that may be present. This type of testing also detects “novel” (previously unknown) genetic sequences for species mutations not previously discovered.

Yes, these tests should be covered by insurance if the physician writes an order for it with the appropriate diagnosis code. The insurance billing is $1,495 per test. Fry Laboratories will bill insurance. ARCpoint Labs charges a $25 draw fee for these cases. The cash price is $1,150 for each test.

Unlike other genetic tests that can take several weeks to obtain results, these results come back in a few days. The benefit of this is that the physician does not necessarily need to prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics or other drugs while waiting on results. ARCpoint Labs offers these tests in conjunction with Fry Laboratories, the lab here in the Scottsdale Airpark that invented these tests. So far this year, ARCpoint Labs has been able to pinpoint the cause of previously undiagnosed conditions for nine individuals. Several of these individuals say this was a life-saving event for them.

ARCpoint Labs of Scottsdale North offers over 30,000 tests to medical practitioners, consumers and employers – clinical, toxicology, genetic and forensic.

This article was compiled with Timothy Terrill, owner of Medical Labs of Arizona, doing business as ARCpoint Labs of Scottsdale North. Tim can be reached at 480-939-4656, TTerrill@ARCpointlabs.com or arcpointlabs.com/scottsdale-north.

I am now partnering with leading local health insurance and employee benefits experts. Please reach out to me at 602-692-6832 or Paul@HRaz.com for an initial conversation, evaluation or referral.

Paul Breslau, Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), Registered Employee Benefit Consultant (REBC), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Chartered Advisor for Senior Living (CASL), is President of Breslau Insurance & Benefits Inc. Contact: 602-692-6832; HRaz.com; Paul@HRaz.com.