My mom underwent a bone densitometry (bone mineral density test) just recently, and since I was the one with her from the first appointment with an endocrinologist to scheduling and making it through the test, I’ve got a new medical experience to share, and particularly as the title of this blog goes, the cost of such a diagnosis.
Quick Information: Bone Densitometry (Bone Mineral Density Test) at The Medical City – Nuclear Medicine Department costs around PHP5,000.00.
A big disclaimer though, I am not a medical expert nor a practitioner here. I just want to share something based on my first-hand experience. If you’re a regular reader here, you might have read some ‘medical’ articles such as those about impacted wisdom teeth extraction and hearing test which I generously shared, again just from an experience.
We suspect our mom has osteoporosis already because of her stooped posture and height loss. She’s 64. It’s Christmas season, and while she is on a city visit for a month or two, we decided to have her medical consultations stretched through the weeks amidst our busy work schedules. Both my mom and dad still live in Romblon, our hometown.
During our visit at the satellite clinic of The Medical City, the endocrinologist explained that her condition could either be osteoporosis or osteoarthritis, but since my mom is not having any back pain at all, it is likely the former. So, she suggested a bone densitometry for proper diagnosis. She told us the test was available in major hospitals, and recommended The Medical City – Nuclear Medicine Department. Other tests — Ionized Calcium and Vitamin D Assay — were also added.
Two weeks later, I had an off from work so I managed to visit The Medical City – Nuclear Medicine Department for the scheduling of the test. It’s on the Lower Ground. It took weeks because we couldn’t contact the department by phone, and they’re open only on weekdays. The test was scheduled Thursday the next week, and it was a fit with my schedule given the local holiday. I did not ask anything about the cost upon my visit since I was confident about the health card coverage. She has a Maxicare card. I simply planned to have the letter of authorization (LOA) processed on the same day of the appointment.
First of December came, and we went there as early as 09:30AM. We had to wait for the approval of the LOA for more than an hour at Maxicare, only to find out that the test was not covered as it should be in satellite clinics (something not right because satellite clinics do not offer such kind of test) because of the clinic-based membership. There was no problem with the other two tests; however, we had to avail them at Maxicare Exxa Tower, just a 15-minute Grab ride though.
After the two other tests at around 12:30PM with a quick lunch at KFC, we went back to The Medical City. Our appointment was at 01:00PM. My mom still had the other card — MediCard, and we would still try it; otherwise, we would pay the test in cash. Although, we still had no idea how much it would cost. There was no queue at MediCard, and we had the transaction in just 10 minutes. Thankfully, there was no problem. Yes, it was covered.
As we had the check-in at The Medical City — Nuclear Medicine Department just on time, my mom was briefly interviewed. I did not listen about it though as I comfortably laid on the couch watching Harry Potter. She was also given a statement reflecting the cost. It’s around PHP5,000.00 less the senior citizen discount. Soon, she had the bone densitometry which took more or less 20 minutes. Results were released two days after.