Affordable Labs Offers Convenient and Affordable Blood Draws

About This Episode

Affordable Labs owner Missy Williams sits down with Local Leaders: The Podcast host Jim Chapman to discuss this amazing alternative to typical blood draw services and learns so much along the way!

About Affordable Labs

Affordable Labs is the premier medical laboratory service in the Baton Rouge area. Since 2004, they have been the first company to offer direct access testing to the Baton Rouge community. That means you’re able to visit their lab and request any lab test. Affordable Labs has also been the “go-to” for homebound patients as well as those who are typically a “hard stick”. Home Health companies, as well as primary physicians, have used Affordable Labs’ services to obtain much-needed lab collections from patients who would otherwise go without services until able to have transportation services provided to them.

Transcript (Beta)

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denham springs fit body boot camp a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast hey everyone and welcome to another edition of local leaders the podcast i’m jim chapman and today i’m joined by missy williams of affordable labs how are you doing great i am excited to have you on local leaders podcast today i’m excited too we had a great conversation uh when we first met and i’ll tell i’m gonna tell all y’all this is an interesting business and it’s a great uh concept of something you may not realize we’re gonna get into all of that but first we want to talk about a little bit of your personal life you were born and raised in denham springs well so i’m not quite raised um i’m from down springs we moved a lot when i was a kid yeah but came back here when i was like in junior high and then settled it and stayed so in my elementary school years you know we were all over pretty much all over like from sunset to covington and back you know yeah yeah but this is home yeah this is home absolutely this is home and you’re married you’re not single and ready to mingle not single

it’s way too much effort yeah i’m telling you you have six children and three grandchildren yes so we are a blended family yeah um i have two of my own and my husband eric has four of his own so he started earlier than i did in life i was a late bloomer with kids so we have six all together and then of course we have three grandbabies wow and all of our kids are here with us local so everybody’s in denim watson you know so i love it we see them all the time it’s good love it and you enjoy painting now what type of painting house painting or like picture painting well so i i do um acrylic right so i do acrylic painting on canvas mostly i enjoy the um the creativity of that however um i love to paint like walls like cutting in you know that’s like therapeutic just the the drawing of the line you know that kind of stuff so i enjoy both but typically i do um i do campus painting fantastic you know it’s amazing with painting i also like to paint but i like to paint furniture things like that oh yeah you know chalk paint them or whatever and really make them pretty again but it is it’s therapeutic it’s kind of like my relax my relaxing in my mind i don’t know yeah now now what makes me nervous is cabinets like painting cabinets is that’s a whole different beast yeah yeah i can roll her a wall like right down that’s easy yeah cabinets can be tricky absolutely uh you play piano yes so yeah so and that’s one of the instruments i play um so i when i was 15 i went to um i went to a piano teacher um because i i play by ear mostly right so i don’t actually like sit down with like the orchestra music and read all that stuff so i play by ear so if i hear it i basically pick it out on the piano but she kind of taught me how to hone my skills and figure out you know chord progression and stuff like that but um so yes i’ve played piano since i was about 15. and you can just you just picked up you started hitting keys you kind of knew from the sound right amazing yeah wow yeah that’s like mozart or something that’s impressive not quite that good awesome well you have an amazing business that we’re going to get into um you’re affiliate botanist yeah phlebotomist yeah that what did i say philly about it that’s horrible and i practiced like the wrong way 500 times last night i’m like tell you about this affiliate so how do you say it fleb like phleb botamist botanist that’s as bad as that’s like phlegm but so it’s floating up instead of flims

botu missed

yeah so it’s a hard word for a lot of people basically i’m a glorified vampire so just that’s awesome yeah and you know it’s funny i say realtor and it’s actually realtor yeah and the only people that ever correct me are realtors right everybody else says ender realtor yeah realtor no i’m not a realtor that’s what i mean okay so anyway you have a great story on how you became a flubotnist right is that right yeah regarding your son who was young at the time uh tell me about that so at the time my oldest son um he was right about five and um he had to have some lab work um he was having some medical problems and they were just trying to make sure his kidney function was right and things like that so um you know took him into the local hospital lab and of course at five you know they’re scared they don’t know like what’s happening and you know hey here’s that needle buddy yeah and you know they’re terrified so right i have him sitting in the chair and of course i got his younger brother in tow you know so i’m trying to like herd cats here right so you know you sit still don’t touch that you know so you know um the tech comes in and she’s like okay you know we’ve got to get we’ve got to get some blood from you and and i’ve i’ve kind of pre uh discussed it with my kid i was like okay look this is a needle it’s like getting a shot you know yeah and he’s like is it going to hurt yeah but not much you know it’s going to be a pinch like you know we’re usually telling us like like getting an ant bite or a bee sting or something like that you know if they whatever they’ve had experience with so far in life sure and um and he’d actually already been stunned by a bee at one point i was like remember when you got stung by the bee it’s kind of like that but you got to sit real still because you know she she’s got to stick that needle in a very small spot so if you’d move and she can’t get in the spot then she’s got to do it again so we’re going to sit real still can he’s like okay so um so he sat still and you know she she’s like okay no problem and she stuck him and nothing came out and and he was like oh you know and then he was like okay well that’s not bad well then you know moving it around well moving around hurts right yeah um in the field we call that digging around right like don’t dig me some people like and she jugged me you know i mean we hear all sorts of terms but whatever you want to call it that’s what she was doing oh wow you know and it was like trying to find it and just fishing around for it and he just starts welling up with tears and he’s like and i was like all right buddy okay she’s you know just give her a minute you know she’s gonna find he’s gonna be okay and she’s like yeah i can’t find it so she stops and she’s like i’m gonna have to do it again so um after four attempts she finally got it um and you know and he was a trooper i mean he just sat there it was like you know silent crying because i said you have to be still if you move it’s just going to take longer just you know i’m like holding his hand it’s going to be okay yeah and he’s like troopering through the whole thing and just crying the whole time and i was like golly this is horrible you know to see him oh you just have to go through that i was like why is it this hard you know yeah and um so i got to think and i was like you know what i know that in america we have a really bad drug problem right and there is iv drug users and they’re like they’re getting it yeah i mean nobody sent them to school they’re finding veins right you know i mean they’re like you know teenagers 20 years they never went to phlebotomy school and they found it like how did they find it you you went to school you know so like people who are not trained get it like it can’t it can’t be that big of a deal like and i’m always like one of those people like if if i think i can i can like even somewhat do it you know yeah oh i’m gonna try this that’s right yeah so i was like you know what if i do this i can be the one that always draws his blood and i’ll make sure i never hurt him and he’ll never have to go through that again right you know and um so but and i was interested in it like how hard really is it so then i’m like i’m gonna go to school one day you know and so eventually at some point in time i ended up going to school for it and said okay you know pretty awesome yeah and i’m sure as a parent you were like one i mean we stick it we stick him right stephanie berthelot and the crew at sr enterprise can handle it all from sheetrock to texture to paint give stephanie a call at 504-432-9284

sr enterprise where they spread the paint and you spread the word

story led to what you’re doing now not only led to that but led to business ownership of this of that right particular trade so uh just amazing how life kind of comes full circle when you really think about it blows my mind sometimes now you have some vast experience in your field you’ve been up say it phlebotomist yeah since 2014 and have worked with patients ranging in age from infants to get this folks her oldest patient was 105 years old what was that like you know and she was very lucid you know she was living at her home um with her granddaughter who was retired you know wow that’s amazing her granddaughter her granddaughter yes because remember she’s 105. yeah so her her children were like 80s i mean because you know back in the day you had kids at 20. yeah so her kids were in their 80s and her grandchildren were in their 60s wow so her granddaughter was retired and she was living with her granddaughter and um so you know she’s sitting at the at the breakfast table eating her oatmeal when i got there you know and uh you know and so did her blood drawn the whole nine yards and you know everybody everybody always ask you know anytime you get somebody who lives to close to 100 even you’re like hey what’s the secret of a long life yeah so i’m like you know i said hey so i know you probably get this a lot right but um everybody always has to ask you what is what is the secret to a long life and she looked at me and she said you know i do get asked that a lot and um but it’s not really all it’s cracked up to be yeah and i was like yeah she said well you know a lot of people have died she said i’ve had children who have died i’ve had grandchildren who have died she said it’s not supposed to be that way you know so she says yeah you know it’s um you get to see a lot but you get to see a lot yeah that’s right yeah you almost want to sit them people down and just talk about how far the world has come since they were born because in her case there were problems i mean there were no cars like you know horse and buggy and all that kind of wrap your mind around that i mean that’s crazy right no cell phones no microwaves no inside appliances fun fact after i saw you did that i’m like i wonder what the oldest human that ever lived was because she’s got to be close right i went on google and uh and found out that the oldest human documented human to ever live was 122 years old wow yeah yeah and uh jean calament she was born in 1875 and died in 1997. wrapped your mind around that right after the civil war left till you know almost the year 2000 yeah that’s crazy yeah imagine what she saw in her life and they asked her the same question i got into it read the whole thing and they apparently asked her um you know what it what is it like living this long and she was the last member of her family alive so everybody had passed away and they were all girls and some of them didn’t get married so they didn’t have kids so she was the last person with her name and that’s kind of a sad thing when you think about it but they said it like a hundred and like 15 they checked like her levels and everything and she was absolutely healthy yeah crazy and smoked a cigarette every day every day after dinner she would have one cigarette so maybe that’s the trick we’re not recommending smack cigarettes around here don’t get us wrong i thought that was interesting um so you are the owner of affordable labs but you are not the original liner okay uh the business was established in 2004 by ron and sarah jenkins and there’s an amazing story here that i want you to tell us about how you eventually came to own affordable labs okay so um i had worked for ron and sarah as a phlebotomist um when um let’s see it was probably like 2015-ish you know yeah so i was still kind of new in the phlebotomy field right and um so i went to work for them they had you know mobile technicians that would go out so he would make you drive out to i’ve driven out to like alabama new orleans you know all this kind of stuff to draw someone’s blood in their home so um and i thought that was interesting and it was a challenge for me because i had only kind of been in a clinical setting you know where you get somewhat healthy people come in i mean they’re healthy enough to walk through the door yeah right right so they come in i sit down you draw their blood and you know and that’s that’s fine but it wasn’t quite as much of a challenge as you know as you would see in the field with a a elderly person that’s bedridden and stuff like that so that was kind of the option that he had was hey you know this is going to be challenging yeah you know and i was like all right so i went in for my interview um i had never before on an interview like and surprised you get to draw my blood and i was like what oh so yeah so he sits down he says here i want a brave man so on the interview you know he sits me down and he says all right now here’s your tube that i want you to draw and i you know put them in the right order and i want you to draw my blood i’m watching your technique now if you’ve ever if you’ve ever been like oh god am i going to miss or not yeah that’s that’s when you start sweating it on the inside you know so i was like all right you know i got this it’s not it’s not going to be bad you know so i did all of it and he said excellent job you know sounds great you’re hired and i said okay sounds good so funny enough um as a side note to that now whenever i interview they stick me yeah so now that’s interesting yeah you know but it’s a it’s very it’s a very telling thing you find out that they may not really remember the order draw from school which is critical you know um they may have really bad technique you know um and i mean i’m i’m somewhat healthy i mean you know i’m getting older and um but i i mean i have decent veins we’re getting more seasoned

i’m becoming vintage that’s right so um you know but i mean my fans are good so i’m thinking you know if you really can’t get on me you’re not going to get it on everybody else in the field you know this is because this is hard you know yes um so i do i have them stick me now you know it’s it’s a little rough when you got like four and five interviews in a day like you know a pincushion by the end of the day oh yeah i want to make sure that when i have somebody and i put them in the field that i know that they know what they’re doing yes you know because i’ve had people come in oh i’ve been i’ve been doing this 20 years and i was like i don’t know where like at the morgue who are you sticking cause that hurts yeah you know um but yeah so i kind of learned that from him but so he yeah he made me stick him did the blood draw hired me on and so i stayed with him for almost two years going out into the field and everything and um and at some point in time you know business slowed down they had to um to let go a few people and you know it wasn’t as much money as uh because you only have you know money coming in whenever you you do the work sure so um it slowed down a little bit and um he’s like hey look you know i’ll keep you as long as i can you know but realistically i know you probably need a little bit more money for your family so um you know made the decision to kind of go out with a different career got into insurance sales you know totally different yeah you know just did that um so i did you know did that for a little while but i’ve always loved you know being a phlebotomist and you know ron was um was retired military and uh he was he was a medic so he had a few tricks up his sleeve and there’s there’s a couple of techniques that he taught me um and honestly i don’t know very many people who do those techniques but um it’s it’s very valuable in the field i can imagine and um so we do we do have a couple of clients that they are such a hard draw they usually go through five and six people um at any lab with several sticks apiece and you know they’ll come to me and i’ll do i’ll do these techniques on them and get it the first time and they’re you know just astounded but i would have never known that had i not worked with with ron and he was just excellent you know if ron couldn’t get blood off of you there was none yeah yeah there was none and probably very passionate about it he was very passionate so and he started um so he actually started affordable labs um because he wanted to make sure that people could afford appropriate health care you know when you go to some of the bigger labs and the charges are just astronomical he’s like what do you do if you don’t have insurance and you’re having the cash pay for all this you know and cash break costs were just so high and you know at some point you know as a small business owner you may not have insurance yourself right you know there’s no way we can afford this so that’s kind of what he started with that passion of doing those um so it’s carried on now you know we we charge of course you know we have to make some money to keep the lights on but there’s um there’s a substantial difference in what we charge versus the big big box places like so and we typically say it’s about a third of whatever you’re going to pay at the other places you know hey ladies it’s pete with idaho lane spawn boutique located in walker we offer all things skincare hair care makeup spray tan lashes and more and we have a full selection of clothes and we also do private events from birthday parties bridal showers and more so stop by today and get your queen on making every woman a queen see you soon you judge everything by your market you know when it comes to business and what is the market call for if you’re a third cheaper than kind of the market that’s huge i mean that’s the difference between some people being able to afford it and not exactly a lot of cases yeah and the hard part is is that if you have a medical condition that you need lab work for and you have to pay out of pocket and you can’t afford it so you’re like well do i pay the bills or do i go get this done i need to get this done to keep me healthy to pay the bills so you’re kind of in a rut yeah you know so this enables them to not have to push it off because the longer they push it off they may get worse right so this helps them to get it in a timely fashion that everybody can afford it yeah you know 100 and you bring up such good points and i’ll say this um we’re obviously a big proponent of of small business here and in private owned businesses and i think i’m pretty sure that that is the number one cause of people not owning their own businesses the fact is insurance and the fact that uh i can’t tell you how many times i’ve heard i want to do that but i got to keep my insurance not only that insurance will keep people from like staying in bad marriages because their wife or their husband works for a corporation and they have the insurance and maybe this person does have a small business they can’t afford same thing yeah i get on a tangent it just you know because i feel like it stops people sometimes from achieving what they’re really meant to do so you bring up a good point with that and and so you know business owners take note and i know there’s a lot of you that listen there are options you don’t have to pay that astronomical amount of money in order to like get blood draws and things like that well and and not only that but some a lot of insurances you have a high deductible right so if you’ve got like a four thousand dollar deductible you you push everything off until you can just like oh yeah once a year you know so when you’re looking at okay i’ve got a four thousand dollar deductible and i’m gonna have to go to the lab and they’re gonna charge me fifteen hundred dollars i don’t have fifteen hundred dollars you know yeah so you you still put it off because if your insurance don’t kick in it you’re paying for it that’s right you know so hundred percent yeah when you can go into um a different lab and you’re paying 1500 or you come to us and you pay 400. you know okay well you know i mean it’s you’re still paying out of pocket for it you know but you turn in you know you turn in your receipt or you know whatever and then hey there you go yeah 100 so huge advantage there um now at some point uh you eventually bought the business from i did tell us about that so ronan and working with him he was such an outstanding great guy he was he was a big guy so he was like six two or whatever so he was he was a man i mean he was a a big man to begin with you know but his heart was even bigger he was absolutely hands down one of the best bosses i had ever worked for wow he loved his people he loved his patients you know um he would go with you there wasn’t like he would say okay i’m going to give you this job and you go do it because i don’t want to do it i mean anything he asked you to do he would gladly do it with you or you know for you so it’s not like he just kind of put all the junk off on everybody he was there with us in the trenches per se yes so um so he and i became you know friends and we we talked through the years on and off you know he’d text me every once in a while hey how’s it going you know just checking in on you that kind of thing so we kept in touch um even while i was in insurance and things like that and um at one point he said hey what you doing i was like you know i’m still over here he’s like hey well are you happy doing what you’re doing and i was like well i mean yeah what you got you know you need help with something he’s like well hey you know i’d really like to talk to you um about coming to work with me and you know the term with me not for me didn’t catch on to that until later on you know yeah um so i was like okay well you know what i hadn’t seen you in a while he’s like why don’t you and your husband come over for dinner you know let’s uh come over to the house we’ll we’ll have a talk yeah i was like sounds great you hadn’t seen in a while so we made a date to go over and so we went to the house and when we got there his wife answered the door and she said hey um so did ron tell you he’s you know he’s sick and i was like oh no so i’m like oh i’m sorry well we can reschedule she’s like no no no come see so she walks us through the room and um she walks us to the bedroom and he’s there in the bed and um just he was shriveled up to nothing i mean from what he was such a you know big barrel of a man and then he was just emaciated away and um he’s like hey yeah so i’m sick and i was like oh god you know um so we kind of went through stories so he um he had a type of a disorder where his body didn’t make enough platelets so it he just couldn’t make them and he had been sick for a while but didn’t tell a whole lot of people yeah you know he was a very private man when it came to that it didn’t want you to feel sorry for him you know he was a go-getter so um so we we talked and he’s like hey look you know um what do you think about um you know partnering with my wife because i’m dying and um you know and i want my legacy to live on this has been our baby we built it from the ground up you know and i want to make sure my wife is taken care of and um and i i think you’d be really good at running it yeah so talked about originally it was supposed to be like a partnership you know but when he passed um you know sarah she she moved out of state to be with her family and didn’t really want to do the partnership part so um i just bought it outright um from her yeah at that point because you know she um he signed it over to her and then she sent it over to me kind of a thing yeah um but you know he he helped in from his bed you know the last couple of months of his life he made uh he reached out to our his clients you know which are our clients sure but he reached out to the clients and said hey look you know you remember missy she used to be a tech in the field well she’s here she’s going to take everything over she’s you know going to do great if anything so he kind of made that transition even you know from his deathbed literally made that transition over so he kind of passed that on to me and um in our in our lab office we have a picture of him and sarah kind of like a memorial to him um just so everybody knows the story and um you know many times i think what would ron do you know if ron was in this position you know what to do yeah so but uh but absolutely treating the patients with the dignity and respect and you know understanding that that there are people that are in need you know having a passion for your patients and having a passion for your own people your employees your technicians you know knowing that hey they’re people and they’re probably going through some stuff and you know checking in with them getting to know them and feeling like a close family you know yeah and i would say if you asked any of my technicians you know i would venture to say they all love their job and they’re always there for each other so we’re a tight-knit small group you know i try to have like functions a couple times a year or so for them to to get to see each other because they’re all on doing their own little assignments so they really get to like go to an office and really you know get to talk to each other right we do little functions to kind of get together makes them feel like they’re you know not alone because you’re not you know what you’re frustrated with and have experiences with they are too you know we all understand so yeah yeah so um but yes i i had the business from him and um you know just trying to grow it um when whenever he passed it it was all kind of on him and his wife so they weren’t able to do as many appointments and see as many patients so um so i’ve kind of gotten all that back going again and we’re able to cover the entire state yeah um with technicians wow anywhere in the state of louisiana for homebound patients with medicare we’re able to go out doesn’t cost them anything yeah um you know we go out draw the blood in their home because we know sometimes it’s hard for them to come out so we do that as well as do our low cost cash pay stuff fantastic bj pawn and gunn and denham springs wants to buy your own wanted gold jewelry gold coins and gold bullion with 30 years of experience operating in the livingston parish area b.j palm wants to be your source when selling your gold so stop by bj pawn today for a no obligation offer b.j pawn a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast

yes and we’re going to get into all those services and one thing i want to ask you is so you you know you eventually buy the business and i’m sure after that meeting you went home and you and your husband had a conversation and right and it was probably like okay let’s weigh the pros and cons and you know scariest decision probably it was like that you know what i mean like i’ve been there i know that feeling and and uh i don’t know i’m sure you were much like me that you just felt almost pushed into this is the right decision this is yeah there’s no they sure thing for it you know and i i knew i i knew how he ran it because he and i had conversations so i kind of had an idea about how to go about it but um you know i was like man if nobody does this and nobody takes this over all of these people are going to lose all this stuff yeah you know it’s a very unselfish way of looking at it you know um the toughest part about it was i’m one of those people that i love stability right so you give me like an eight to five and to chunk and i’m there and i know that’s my job and i have my my rules and my structure you know electricity goes out you still getting paid and you know and here we you know here we go okay all right now so you’re going to jump into it you’re going to run this all by yourself like no pressure yeah yeah no pressure you know your bills still get to come in so that was like a huge a huge decision you know my husband has been one of the biggest proponents of my success he’s he’s always you know got my back and like hey you can do this you know i get a little text you know you’re a rock star you’re awesome you can do this and i’m like hashtag business woman

and i’m like oh god i don’t know if i can do this you got this you’re going to figure it out it’s going to be okay like yeah you can do this old girl you got this you know like talking to

i am not in control oh that’s so funny well shout out to eric because that’s important is the support of if you have a spouse or someone very close to you is that support yeah because it it doesn’t work for a business owner but people people are aren’t on board right you know either their marriage or relationship is gonna go or that business is going to go right right and and look so and you know like just on a side note eric like not able to watch blood draws like on movies he’s like yeah i’m that way too you can’t stand any kind of puncturing so he has no desire to be any part of anyone oh that’s funny yeah and so he’s like i may not be able to go out there and stick people but i can bring you your coffee in the morning you know so that’s that’s what he does every morning he brings me my coffee and gets the beast under control yes 100 very good very good now let’s get into the services um that you offer and and uh the the first thing i want to talk about is because you brought it up it was insurance yes and you brought up medicare so obviously you take medicare yes um let me give you kind of a hypothetical and you tell me uh what what can be done in this situation so let’s say someone has uh blue cross blue shield insurance and they want to get their blood drawn with you um do they have to have a doctor’s order in order to do that let’s say they just draw their blood themselves just to check check their levels every year so here’s how this works so we have what we call direct access labs now that is when you come in and you say i just want to see how my cholesterol is doing i’ve been on a medicine but i’m not due to go to my doctor for a little bit you know yadda yadda yeah um just wanted to see how it’s going um insurance will not pay for labs it doesn’t matter what insurance company yeah unless you have a doctor’s order because the insurance has to they’re only able to pay for what is considered medically necessary yeah right otherwise they’re just throwing money out for for just because you thought it was a good idea yeah so if you have insurance you have to have a doctor’s order yeah if you still just want it checked then that’s where it comes that you’re going to have to pay for that yourself yeah um so you know we of course have cheap labs so it’s not an undue burden realistically for you to come in if you’re more concerned than what your your doctor’s like yeah we’ll check it every six months you’re like well i really want to check it every four yeah you know every three months whatever you know you can come in you know um and most of our tests honestly are under fifty dollars a piece yeah honestly they’re all you know depending on what you’re getting so um you come in you know you pay for your a1c if you’re diabetic and you’re concerned because you’ve been not doing well lately um so yeah you can come in and pay for those but if you have a doctor’s order we can certainly file it with insurance now um so our lab we take all insurances you know there’s not an insurance we won’t take so we can process your labs under insurance and you know now in that people who have insurance need to remember it’s all about the contractual rate yes so if you want to file it under insurance you have to know if you haven’t met your deductible or if you have a co-insurance where they’re going to say hey we’re going to charge you 20 percent or 10 or whatever it is of the contractual rate so let’s say for instance um if you’re getting your thyroid checked right yes blue cross or medicare or whatever they may say you know what we think a hundred and thirty dollars is a great cost for that test and i honestly don’t know of course you know so just throwing a number out 130 that sounds like it’s a great that’s a great deal so they’ll say it’s 130 right um our cash cost is 30. yeah so if you have to pay to meet your deductible yeah you’re you can you pay 100 more than what you have exactly so you can certainly file it under insurance but we don’t know what your rates are you know whatever they’ve agreed upon that’s and there’s like fee schedules for every insurance and they’re all different so there’s no way for us to tell you right up front hey oh yeah this is all covered this is not covered that’s between you and your insurance company sure but yes we do take all insurance but if you have if you still have a deductible out that’s something you’re going to have to weigh is it is it better for me to pay cash for it or is it better for me to file it under insurance yeah yeah i’m thinking the cash i mean it’s you’re talking not a ton of money too right and interesting thing i was thinking when you were saying that is as a business owner of affordable labs you not only have to be an expert blood drawer but you also have to be an expert insurance person because you it’s amazing how you have to learn all these other aspects of business now that you own that business and uh and trust me dealing with insurance companies no fun not fun at all so uh so that’s an interesting little sidebar and i do have a question you know one thing about your business is i feel like it’s a huge deal right now because people are more health conscious and people are more aware of of things like blood tests and what they can do what you can determine from those i’m a big proponent of that i feel like people should get a blood test like every six months um this is the reason is you can catch a lot of things early just by reading your blood test results and uh thyroid you brought that up huge huge thing right now with both men and women i mean some i was talking to a guy the other day he didn’t realize guys had you know could get hypothyroidism right for example um so big for both but also right now testosterone is a huge thing with people they’re learning um that low testosterone causes a lot more things than they realize for men and women for men women don’t realize about testosterone yeah they think and they think if they supplement that or they or they uh you know if they had low testosterone they have to take testosterone um that they’re gonna you know grow a beard and it freaks them out right and they’re gonna grow hair everywhere and they’re gonna get a deep voice and no they they regulate you to the level you should be at they don’t make you a bodybuilder so ladies out there um why i know this information don’t ask but i’m a research freak but um but i can tell you it’s a major deal and the best way you can get or the only way that i’m familiar with that you can check your testosterone levels whether you’re male or female is through a blood test blood tests are amazing because those panels wow they’re you know you can get a hundred different tests on one blood panel um so i would personally recommend that everybody do that at least once a year you know at least and that way you you can get ahead of something really quick and there’s tons of things you can avoid

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how about vitamin d i mean one of the most important things they’re finding out is an amazing thing vitamin d either low or high levels specifically low there are a lot of people with low and chronically low myself included right so um you it’s amazing how vitamin d can just affect so many different things um it can make you have uh symptoms kind of like a um like if you had thyroid problems right yeah so um my vitamin d specifically i’m going to kind of give you a little example mine had went so critically low it actually adversely affected my parathyroid not my thyroid but my parathyroid so i started having like symptoms similar to like thyroid and i was going what is happening but it was it just threw everything out of whack so you know took more supplements and as my vitamin d came back up to normal parathyroid went back down to normal so your vitamin levels a lot of people don’t realize they’re tired because they don’t have the right vitamins and people say well i get out in the sun all the time well that’s great but doesn’t mean necessarily that you’re absorbing it well enough you’re processing it well enough you’re it’s in your diet well enough you know and um vitamins are tricky though because you can’t have too much of them so that’s kind of where you really want to do at least once a year twice a year if you realize that you have a problem with it to some degree do not go and say oh i had a low vitamin d level i’m going to like just put it on yeah or vitamin b because if you take too much you can have a problem as well so we always recommend if you do lab work on your own and come to us and say hey i just want to kind of check out things you know um if you come back and say hey i’m high on this low on this high on this low on this absolutely see your doctor yeah you know that’s the point when you realize hey you know if it’s all normal and you’re just trucking along through life you know there you go but if something comes back odd one don’t ever google because you’ll have cancer and die in two days right i mean it’s just everybody you’re dying you know yeah so don’t just real you know don’t become dr google take your lab work to your doctor and then let them because it’s it’s like well you may have uh low vitamin d it could be caused by something else though or you could have you know um it could be anemic well there are several things that can cause anemia so the doctor is going to need to really kind of give you a game plan on how to fix that so don’t just like go down to you know taking vitamins and all this kind of stuff yeah um now of course myself i have you know worked with my doctor and like anytime it gets low you need to just bump up your dosage you know so but that’s an understood thing because we’ve dealt with it for so long yes you know and i’m just chronically low on it so but work with your doctor yeah 100 absolutely and you know most people especially these days uh are deficient in vitamin d because nobody goes outside anymore i mean everything’s conducted indoors and and uh and that’s been a big change in the last i would say 50 years um but personally i supplement i i take a vitamin d and it has like k2 right in it and i i supplement that every day i was not um low i was right on the verge of low vitamin d uh when i did my last blood test but that was after supplementing it with just uh i mean i forget how many ius i was taking maybe 10 000 or something but um you bring up another good point which is you can actually over supplement that and it’s kind of like poisoning yourself if you have too much vitamin d so you have to be real careful i’ve heard some people on dr google until you take like 50 000 ie’s a day and i’m like that might be a little bit uh steep but work with your doctor that is the best advice you could ever get now another service you offer is covet testing so tell me about that so um we offer uh kova testing by pcr so we do not do rapid tests right we’re not going to give you results in 15 minutes off of the kit we run everything pcr it’s the gold standard in the industry most accurate absolutely so however we have a couple of options for you so if you’ve ever had a coveted test and they shove that q-tip way up to your brain and dug around a little bit you realize it’s not quite fun right right so if you’re completely adverse to that we also can offer saliva testing as well so when we do those and we send it off you get those results next day yeah so um everybody who’s doing like traveling or going to you know football games or whatever they’re like hey we need everybody to be tested and proof of a negative test before you go banned i went and heard myself my sister my daughter play uh she plays flute and they had the symphony baton rouge symphony orchestra she was fortunate to play with them and went to play and for me to watch her i had to have proof of a negative coveted dust right right and it’s you live within so many hours you know usually within three days yes right exactly and then so sometimes um in our experience before and we started working in conjunction with a local lab based out of uh covington um because we couldn’t provide as fast of a turnaround time as they can for that so um and they can process saliva right so you’re you basically just like spit into a tube cap it off you know let me send it much better than getting the yep the plunger or whatever

so um so they work in conjunctions with with us on that and um but they’re able to process it like next day so anything that i collect today it’ll result out by tomorrow afternoon so you’re not waiting you know the 48 hours and then sometimes depending on the backlog so as we see these outbreaks and these new strains coming out um you know everybody goes and gets tests well you know when they’re sending them in a lot of times there’s a there’s so many coming in it just takes longer to put them in the machine because you can only run so many at a time sure right um so but the the lab that we’re associated with that helps us with these they absolutely get it back 24 hours there’s not a huge delay there’s never a 48 you know and beyond yeah so you are getting those results back a lot faster now from them and it is off of saliva as well so and it’s like one milliliter of saliva um so it’s for some people if you’re like always dry mouth or uh like your medicine or something like that kind of works with you we’re probably going to say hey you know let’s just do the nasal one because you’ll sit there for 25 minutes

but most people it’s certainly not anywhere near as of an invasive procedure you know fantastic in an awesome surface there now you offer both blood and urine tests so let’s cover that is that for like uh would that be like if you were an employer and i don’t know if somebody got a wreck and you got to drug test them that kind of thing yes so um so yes actually blood and urine um now so what you’re talking about is a drug test we absolutely do drug testing um we do work with certain companies they say hey we want randoms run and we want pre-employment the majority of the time is going to be pre-employment stuff so they’ll send their people over to us you know we abide by all the guidelines we’re going to put blueing in the toilet you can’t use the water um you know we do have sometimes they’ll ask us to do it to do an observation which is clearly not fun for anybody in the situation but we do offer that so we can do an observed collection and things like that too but most often it’s just you know go in do your uh do your drug testing so and we do have low cost drug testing for that it’s so it’s 35 per person that comes in so it’s really reasonable for employers to be able to do it too you know it’s not costing um and then the the ones that we’re running we can either run it instant so we know within five minutes and can send you your results back or we can you know do it where it’s like on the machine it tells you like the level of cutoff you know so whatever they need we can run you know five panel nine panel twelve panel with alcohol i mean so we have uh wow whole yes so we can tell you know if they may not have um may not have drugs in their system but they they are clearly having an alcohol yeah no don’t do drugs so um but so we can do all of that so um that type of your intestine of course we do with employers but we also do urine testing a lot of patients who have kidney troubles especially patients who have diabetes you know there’s always going to be a urine check to make sure you know there’s no ketosis and things like that so we do standard urinalysis we can of course you know reflex it to a culture to see if you have a uti so every urine test that you know your doctor can request we can certainly do all those as well fantastic and and something for business owners take note of that that they can handle those drug and alcohol tests um and we also do that mobile too so sometimes they don’t want to have especially if you’re going to do like a random just ha yeah surprise everybody go to the bathroom so we come out on site you know we make sure everything is secure no access to water the whole nine yards and we we process them on site for them uh wow if there’s so like if there’s an accident um say for instance there’s a um you know your person’s driving your company vehicle and they’re in an accident time is always critical right so if you’re like hey i need to know if this person was on drugs at the time of that accident um you know we can even go out um within an hour or so and while they’re on scene processing with the tow truck the whole nine yards you know we can certainly do that yeah in a timely fashion too so um of course you know we’re gonna charge a uh de goffy i mean yeah but yes as long as it’s within a reasonable amount of time we can we can set up a contract as long as we know that that’s happening you know um we can work with an employer and say hey what kind of services do you want they’ll say hey i want mobile i want this and we’ll tell them okay this is the on-call number so we we kind of set that up ahead of time you know um to make sure that we’re there and available and on call for their services too so fantastic and that’s a great option for business owners out there because one thing that insurance does if you’re if you’re a long guy and you have a large crew and you so you have four or five trucks on the road let’s say um your insurance rates you can negotiate lower rates if you offer drug testing and uh and one of the things those insurance companies will require is if someone wrecks a company vehicle you have to get them to do a drug test obviously because if they’re on drugs they’re alcohol and they wreck the vehicle uh the insurance company was doesn’t want to be responsible to pay for that or they want that person gone so they want that drug test um well that’s a service that they will you will actually get cheaper rates if you offer that drug testing so affordable labs can handle that for you they can even come to you so if you suspect the person is drunk or high or whatever you the last thing you want to do is say okay you got to go to urgent care whatever you know you can have affordable labs come to you and they’ll take care of that so that’s a great service

william waldrop of twfg insurance in denham springs can service all of your insurance needs offering auto life health and commercial insurance william waldrop of twfg insurance is a proud supporter of local leaders the podcast

here’s another interesting one you offer dna services yes so tell me about that so um we can do dna services now everybody knows you know if you’ve ever watched any of the popular shows yeah you know you are not the daddy so of course that is a standard paternity dna test yeah um so there’s a couple things that people i guess don’t really understand about dna testing right so you can certainly go down the street get something like walgreens or whatever and do your dna tests well that’s not legal and admissible in court right yeah because there’s no validation of who actually took the test okay so we offer two different kinds of like paternity testing for instance this is our biggest most requested test right somebody needs to know whose child this is yeah so we either do it for informational purposes which means you’re not going to use it for court child custody child support anything like that yeah um so you just want to know okay yeah now there’s the legal one as well which means it is admissible in court you can use it for anything right um social security benefits a lot of people don’t understand that if you have a child and you’re you know everything’s great with with the two parties you’re not asking anybody for you know custody or child support but still at the end of the day if the father of that child passes away from a car wreck or whatever that child would be entitled to social security benefits but only with a legal dna test yes so there’s always that whether you’re like hey we’re not getting in the middle of this you know it’s just no biggie just remember that as well so um those are the two types of testing um what makes them different is for a legal one we validate who you are so we have to see your id we have to take a picture of you you know um it’s it’s very like structured as far as that goes right so everything is submitted with it to make it a um a legal test now with a non-legal you can walk in and say i’m beyonce absolutely we don’t ask who you are for verification of who you are but also if they’re coming in split and we have like the mother and the child and the alleged father come in she can say okay he’s gonna come in tomorrow he could send his friend yeah we’re not going to ask right so but that’s why and and absolutely it has happened more often than people realize wow more often um so yes if there’s any concern about any of that for whatever reason always opt for the for the legal one you know so but yes we do paternity testing but it’s really interesting um if the father um or the alleged father is not available we can test his brother or his sister yeah um it’s called an avuncular test so sometimes the father is deceased or you know the father’s in another country or whatever have you we can actually test their relatives we can test grandparents to show that that was the child’s father and then we can also do kind of after the fact we can also collect four deceased so if someone has died we do work with the coroner’s offices and um and funeral homes and things like that we can go out and collect even at that point wow um to do that because of course when someone passes away there’s always that whole airship thing you know and a lot of times you mean to do it you mean to get it done and the name on the birth certificate and everything but you don’t ever get around to it yeah you know and then something bad happens you know we’ve seen a lot more of it now with covid because it’s uh it’s a real thing you know it’s people are you know going in the hospital with covid and then it’s like well you know we didn’t expect them to pass away when they were 45 yeah you know we thought we had time so you know of course there’s always car wrecks and things like that but sure but we have seen a higher rate of of that happening now just because of what’s happened in the world you know wow it’s just amazing what you can do with with blood tests now yeah and all of those sorts of things and and there’s dna tests there’s urine tests and you can read all these things from them i find it fascinating but honestly affordable labs you know they offer all of these services and and the amazing thing is you can do the mobile testing so if it’s uh if it’s an alzheimer’s patient or um i’m sure you know many examples of the types of patients that you can go to that just cannot you know they’re bedridden or or whatever anybody of course mobility challenged you know if it’s um you know they are um in a wheelchair so you’re going to have to have somebody that’s going to have to wheel them out to the vehicle get them into the vehicle put the wheelchair in the you know and that whole mobility the the time frame that it takes and the effort to get people to coordinate that and take off of work you know because you may be the child of an elderly patient and their caregiver whenever they have to go to the doctor so you have to arrange with your job and take off work you know to go get them take them to baton rouge or whatever to do their their labs and stuff and then bring them back home and you know so it’s like a four-hour production most of the time you know but we can arrange to go out to them so you know you know that they’re at home they’re in their familiar place especially like with alzheimer’s and dementia patients you know they’re in their area you’re not bringing them to some place they don’t know where they are um so they’re familiar in their home they’re comfortable um you know bedridden all of that stuff or even just like immunocompromised patients patients who you know and not just like a organ transplant or something like that but you know if if they’ve had um if they have diabetes even if they have copd you know um their immuno compromise whatever they you may not it may not be like required medically that they stay home necessarily but you may want us to come out just to keep them kind of you know in a safer spot right because you know their house is is clean and you know disinfected and stuff like that that’s right i mean during kova when when you know that and i say during covet it’s you know still around but uh not not to the level it was in march of 2020 when we all thought we’d die if we breathed on each other and all of that so it’s it’s got a little bit better on that respect but that was a service that was a necessity back then it was kind of like telehealth and you know that was a necessity back then uh so another amazing service that you offer and the great thing is you go all over the state of louisiana you’re not limited to you know livingston parish and ascension and baton rouge if you’re listening this right now and you’re in lafayette uh they they they can help you right you know and and so going mobile of course um if you so if you have medicare part b right so original traditional medicare or you have a medicare replacement plan we can go to those patients with no cost to them outside of medicare um none of the other insurance groups will pay us a portage fee yeah so that fee has to be taken on by the patient yeah now depending on how far out it is and things like that um because we are coming from baton rouge you know so we do pay our technicians for their mileage and things like that because it it may take them two hours to get there and two hours to get back and that’s you know that’s a four and a half hour deal you know so so we do have to pay them so um we may end up charging um like a portage fee for us us to go out of concierge fee to go out to the home so that is um you know paid for by the patient um or the patient’s family or whatever so but depending on how far out um just to kind of give you somewhat of an idea so in the city of baton rouge if you have a baton rouge zip code so even like um central is baton rouge 7818 right so if it says baton rouge and that zip code your fee for us to come out is 25 to come out to your home that’s nothing yeah it’s totally worth it so outside of that so places like denim springs zachary prairieville um gonzales and all that in that kind of a radius it’s forty dollars and so you can see it just kind of goes out a little bit further and further and further so the further out you get and we base that off of round-trip mileage from our lab so but so it’s really not you know super expensive especially if you’re trying to weigh the cost of i have to take off of work for five hours how much money am i going to lose for that you know some people have to wear in a van right to get them you know a handy handicap equip them maybe to bring them somewhere but again you know older patients people on medicare disabled patients we can go to those yes that is covered by medicare so um but we do cover the entire state so you know we can certainly if it’s just a private they’re like hey i’m out in monroe i want somebody to come out to see me we can certainly work up a quote to do that for them um and be able to come out even if they’re not on medicare so fantastic now we’ve we’ve uh we’ve talked about a lot of services you that you offer today and uh of course the cova testing of course the urinalysis and the you know obviously blood tests uh dna services mobile services um pretty much if if you need anything in that realm they can do it and uh and so let’s say you know 100 people heard this right now and they want to reach out how would they go about doing that so um they can go to our website um to get a lot of the information and we have like a contact us form if they just kind of want to you know hey i don’t have time to call in yeah um they can go to our website and it’s and it’s go spelled g-e-a-u-x because we’re in louisiana that’s right so it’s g-e-a-u-x then the number four and the word so they can go there of course it has all like our phone number fax number stuff like that as well our hours of operation location um they can give us a call our phone number is 225-389-5020

so they can call us and or go to our website you know there’s contact forms email addresses the whole nine yards if it’s a doctor that wants us to service their patients we do have a part on our website for them it’s under the provider section so they can go to that section download one of our requisitions fill it out with all the information for their patient fax it to us as soon as we get the order we typically have a turnaround time of about three business days so from the day that we get the order within three business days we’re usually out to see the patients wow that’s pretty quick especially these days there’s no doubt as long as they answer the phone sometimes sometimes you know when we do get like the out of area stuff so if we’re like lafayette or shreveport or whatever sometimes they’re like how’s that 225 what’s that you know yeah it’s not for your car warranty right yeah yeah but yes so as long as the patients know that we’re going to be calling them you know they’re kind of expecting that um yeah but the providers can go on they don’t have to like call us or whatever we can do any any test um any test that they can imagine we could check you for shrimp allergies yeah whatever they want you know so whatever they ask us to do we can do all tests we’re a fully functional lab and we can go out and do that so there is that section for providers if doctors offices want us to do that as well fantastic and um last question uh let’s say uh you were someone that didn’t want to check your your uh blood and and like we were talking about earlier that i like to do those blood tests at least once a year um well in my case every six months just because i’m weird like that but uh let’s say you wanted to check that do you also run the results or does that or do you draw the blood and then that’s kind of where your job ends no so what happens is um say jim if you wanted to come over and say hey i want my hormones checked i want my thyroid checked you know you just give us a list so we will um we’ll run all the blood we have it processed and then so whenever um whenever we’re done with all that you’re going to get a results page it’s super simple to read um you know even even yourself so everybody gets all like maybe not scared but a little anxious about it like i don’t know if i how do i know what it is you know so don’t feel like you’re gonna have to like call somebody up and be like i need you to interpret this it’s pretty simple so you’re gonna have like the test this is the test that was run this is what it was for you so it’s gonna be like 1.0 5.0 whatever the number is on you yeah and then it’s going to have like a flag group so it’ll either say low literally low or high or it’ll have l or h right so it’ll say you know like um your iron you check your iron and it says low you know your iron’s left yeah but out to the right it says this is your reference range so reference ranges are based on like a general average across america kind of a thing so if it’s supposed to be between 25 and 50 and yours is at 10 you’ll see mine was at 10. it’s supposed to be 25 to 50 and it’s low and it’ll say in bright colors low so then you take that and say i have low iron yeah you say i need to call my doctor yeah so you just take that paper so yes we do result that out um whenever we see the patient and a lot of people don’t understand this but we cannot if you do not give us like your email address on site when we say hey you are jim i’m going to draw your blood yeah where how do you want your results if you’re like oh i’ll come by and pick them up or oh you know you can mail them to me or whatever that will do whatever you ask us to do but if you say hey i want you to email them to me we’ll take down your email address we’ll make sure that we wrote it down correctly and then we’ll email it to you so we can do that with our encrypted email um but if you don’t give us your email like while we’re there with you you can’t just call someone say hey i can’t make it over there can you email it to me you could be yeah that’s right so we we’re very very strict my my staff is very strict about like we do not release results that we have not verified before and it is a pain sometimes like man i should have just had them email it to me it would have been easier but that’s just something we cannot do yeah yeah absolutely absolutely and um you know there’s always that too hey i did this um but can you send it to my doctor no i cannot not without you coming in here you know if you’ve paid for it yourself mm-hmm you come to me yeah i’m gonna have to see your driver’s license matched up with your lab because i can’t over the phone just like release it to dr so and so right you know like again whenever we’re doing it we can fax it to your doctor we can fax it to five doctors you know so whatever the patient tells us at that point in time we can certainly do that now there is that whole thing if a doctor’s requesting you got your doctor’s order then you know another doctor calls up and says hey you know i need to get a copy of it we do make that doctor send over a signed consent of release from you know that you sign with them so they’re still all the same processes as far as that goes but um as far as you doing it yourself we can send it to you in an email mail it to you print it out and have you come pick it up you know um we do not interpret results that we’re not going to say hey you know it looks like you have this because based on your labs that we cannot diagnose you we can if you have a question about like hey is this high or low we can say see where it says low or see where it says hi so we can tell you like this is your number you see this you know kind of go through that with you but realistically we can’t tell you what that means 100 100 so visit with your doctor on that thank you for coming by today did you have a good time i did i had a great time we’ve been going for an hour and four minutes wow and look i could go for another three hours and four minutes and the people on the that are listening right now probably like no that’s too much jim for one day be right so uh thank you for coming by this has been very informative i don’t think people realize um how important what you do is from the aspect of today’s times and making it convenient for people being able to go mobile is huge when i heard about this business i was like man this person has got to come on the show i mean this is something that uh business owners and uh doctors offices and everybody can benefit from so thank you for your for your service to the community by doing what you do with affordable lives we appreciate it and i did also want to mention i know yes we hadn’t talked about it but um four small businesses like myself um that are part of moxie yes we do for any and all services i’m glad you mentioned that dane won’t be mad at me now you never said so if there is you know if there is a business that needs us to run those those drug screens we can absolutely do that from for them on moxie so any any of our services our blood services covid testing urine testing all of that we accept moxie for everything including our like i said our dna and stuff like that too so 100 and so for those listeners out there that aren’t familiar moxie is part of a trade exchange well moxie is the trade exchange i trade exchanges the local livingston parish area part of moxie but it’s accepted all over louisiana tennessee uh mississippi they got uh they’re working on some stuff in florida uh so just a great organization where you it’s basically a border network and you trade out services i’m also a member of moxie uh here at uh local leaders podcast so uh thank you for mentioning that i know dane appreciates that shout out day

dane arnold with i trade exchange has been enabling small business in the livingston parish area to save cash through his network of over 300 participating livingston parish businesses saving cash by trading services with other exchange members is what i trade exchange is all about for more information contact dane arnold at 225-205-3640

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so uh thank you for coming by um thank you to all the listeners that listen and support us here at local leaders of podcast and everything we’re doing thank you to our sponsors who uh honestly we could not do anything without all of those folks and their support we really appreciate that i do want to mention lopa the louisiana organ procurement agency uh this is uh kind of a non-profit that we really support here local leaders the podcast uh they’re doing great things and they are giving you know so consider giving the gift of life if you’re in

south palto brazil yeah i don’t even know if that’s a real don’t giggle that but one of those places in brazil and you want to be an organ donor go to and get information give the gift of life it is so very important uh to do that so thank you to lopa for all they do as a non-profit uh once again i am jim chapman reminding you love your community support local business just like affordable labs and keep leading thank you very much

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