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Health

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At a glance
The six tests offered in the Parkview HealthFair Mobile Screening Coach are:
•Echocardiogram
•Electrocardiogram (or EKG)
•Arterial Stiffness Index
•Carotid artery ultrasound
•Peripheral arterial disease test
•Abdominal aortic aneurysm ultrasound
Source: Parkview Health
Are you at risk?
Risk factors for heart disease include:
•Age 45 or older (age 40 with multiple risk factors)
•Family history
•Stress
•High blood pressure
•High cholesterol
•Smoking (past or present)
•Heavy alcohol use
•Obesity
•Lack of exercise
•High fat diet
Source: HealthFair
Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Chad Carpenter, chief operating officer of Parkview Heart Institute, talks to Tanya Taylor, ultrasound technician of the Parkview HealthFair Heart Mobile Screening Coach. The mobile coach will provide common heart screenings.

Parkview heart-test bus cuts cost of saving lives

Parkview Heart Institute is partnering with a Florida company to offer lower-cost access to potentially lifesaving cardiac tests.

Local officials on Tuesday unveiled the Parkview HealthFair Heart Mobile Screening Coach, a customized bus that allows four health care workers to administer six different heart tests to patients in two private examination rooms.

The vehicle will travel northeast Indiana, offering tests by appointment. A doctor’s referral is not required, Parkview spokesman Eric Clabaugh said.

Heart disease kills more than half a million Americans every year, said Chad Carpenter, the heart institute’s chief operating officer.

“The mobile coach makes it convenient to get the appropriate screenings that can potentially prevent heart attacks and strokes, saving lives and avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations,” he said in a statement.

Parkview is leasing the motor coach and staff from HealthFair, a Winter Park, Fla.-based company.

HealthFair has received The Joint Commission’s gold seal of approval. The commission is the nation’s leading accrediting organization for hospitals, labs and surgery centers.

“It is our mission to give the power back to the consumer by providing awareness and knowledge about their personal health before medical emergencies strike,” the company says on its website.

Four packages of tests are priced from $99 to $347.

A package that includes all six tests costs $179, a fraction of the $2,300 that would be charged in a hospital setting, Clabaugh said. Significant savings are possible because Parkview underwrites a portion of the costs and the mobile screening unit has less overhead than a hospital, he said.

Insurance is not accepted by the mobile provider, but patients can submit paperwork to request reimbursement from their health insurance companies, Clabaugh said.

It takes technicians less than one hour to administer all six tests, he said.

The coach has been operating in the area for less than two months. During that time, 97 patients have been screened.

“Of those, 60 individuals had some type of previously undetected abnormality,” Parkview said. One patient needed immediate care for a serious medical condition.

Test results are read by board-certified doctors and made available within a few days.

Results are shared with the patient by email and U.S. mail. If the patient needs follow-up care and doesn’t have a cardiologist or primary care doctor, he will be referred to someone in Parkview’s physicians or cardiology practice, Clabaugh said.

Lizette Downey, Lutheran Health Network spokeswoman, said Lutheran doesn’t offer a similar mobile cardiac testing vehicle.

Plans call for Parkview’s vehicle to park at various retailers and workplaces, much like Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography, a breast cancer screening service. Appointments can be made online at www.parkviewhealthfair.com.

sslater@jg.net

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