Early Diagnosis

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

A physician-owned diagnostic imaging center in Shorewood is increasing its profile and raising public awareness about preventative health by offering $80 heart scans. Lakeside Diagnostic Imaging Center, located at 4601 N. Oakland Ave., started offering $80 heart scans to advertise that preventative, high-quality, affordable health care technology can be available to anyone, even without a doctor referral, said Eric Haberichter, director of operations for Lakeside Diagnostic.

Since offering the $80 heart scan, Lakeside has gone from performing three to four heart scans per week to 40 to 60 scans per week, Haberichter said. The procedure was not available to the general public before. It was only available to patients with a doctor’s referral.

The $80 heart scan is one of several services Lakeside Diagnostic offers to the public at a discounted cost from what is charged to insurance companies for patients with a doctor’s referral, Haberichter said.

"It is part of our business philosophy to be a good neighbor and a good addition to the community," Haberichter said.

The heart scan is a calcium score performed on a low-end radiology computed tomography (CT) scan of the heart and the vessels of the heart, Haberichter said.

The technology scans the heart looking for calcium deposits in the coronary arteries and compares the amount of the deposit with a sample of a normal person, providing a percentile score, Haberichter said.

"A lot of companies can offer a calcium score, but the price varies," Haberichter said. "The thought was to offer patients something very useful at a great price, plus access to a physician."

The entire process for the $80 scan takes 15 minutes, and the actual scan takes less than one minute, Haberichter said. And unlike the average facility offering calcium scoring, the images are interpreted for the patient by a physician, Haberichter said.

The physicians offer general advice to patients, including if they should be taking blood thinners, exercise or modify their eating habits to prevent heart disease, Haberichter said.

"The scan proves to be an excellent indicator of future cardiac risk," he said.

The most frequent initial symptoms of heart disease are an acute heart attack or death, Haberichter said.

The calcium score is an, ‘I want to know,’ test for individuals who are about middle age or older and have health issues, including a family history of cardiac disease and hypertension, Haberichter said.

"For $80 to come in for a painless test, an individual gets a good overview of his or her risks, and it is a good value," Haberichter said. "The test is not 100 percent accurate, but it is highly accurate. And if it is nothing more than a nudge in the right direction, then it is a good service."

Lakeside Diagnostic also offers lung scans for $150 and a virtual colonoscopy for $500, Haberichter said.

Lakeside Diagnostic is an independent and physician-owned diagnostic imaging center. The center was founded in 2001 to serve patients outside of a hospital setting. There are 15 physicians employed at the center, including four with special training for the scanners and two who provide interpretations of the images.

Lakeside focuses on providing high-end diagnostic imaging and services including CT scan, MRI, PET, bone mineral densitometry, cardiac stress testing, nuclear medicine stress exams, whole body scanning and early detection of Alzheimer’s.

Lakeside works with almost every insurance carrier, Title 19, GAMF and Medicare, Haberichter said.

In November, Lakeside Diagnostic invested $2 million in the 64-slice volume computed tomography (VCT) scanner.

The VCT scanner enables Lakeside to offer a CT Angiography service. The CT Angiography is a new technology that makes Lakeside the first outpatient imaging center in Wisconsin to offer the service.

"The investment was a leap of faith in terms of business profit," Haberichter said. "We don’t expect to perform dozens of scans per day but we do feel that it is an important service to offer."

The growth of the medical services market is in medical equipment, which equally benefits the patient in health as it does the company in revenue, Haberichter said.

For a business to compete in the medical industry, it has to offer state-of-the-art technology and a correct diagnosis, Haberichter said.

"This is the cutting edge," he said.

The company is offering free transportation to and from the clinic, Haberichter said.

"We try to do things that are attractive for the business but if we don’t have high quality medical products, we shouldn’t be in business," he said. "We are talking about someone’s life, and we take it very seriously."

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display