What is a paramedical
exam, and how long does it take?
A paramedical exam
consists of some questions about the applicant's medical history,
measurements of height and weight, blood pressure and pulse. A
urine specimen is usually collected. Undressing is not required
and the exam usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes. The application for
insurance is not complete until we have obtained this necessary
information for the underwriter.
Will a urine specimen
A urine specimen will
almost always be collected during a paramedical exam. The tests
done are determined by the insurance company and are performed
by the insurance company's approved laboratory. The test results
will be sent only to the insurance company, and are used in the
What happens to
All of the information
obtained during the paramedical examination is strictly confidential,
and for insurance purposes only. It will be forwarded to the insurance
company for review to help evaluate the individual's policy.
How is the appointment
made and where?
Medical Services, Inc.
will call your client to schedule a date, time and place convenient
to them. They may elect to have the exam completed at their home
or office, or come to our local office. They make the decision
that best fits their schedule.
are required of physicians, and what services do they perform?
Sometimes a physician
is required by the insurance company to perform the examination.
Medical Services, Inc. contracts with physicians who have a current
license, are in good standing and practice in a specialty area
approved by the insurance company and Medical Services, Inc. These
physicians provide services such as medical exams, treadmill ECG's,
Why is blood testing
Blood testing has been
found to provide important information for underwriting purposes.
A wide range of tests are completed by a laboratory, and the results
are sent only to the insurance company.
How much blood is
Sometimes blood is
procured via fingerstick method, where several drops of blood
are placed on a filter paper and dried. The filter paper is then
shipped to the laboratory to be reconstituted and tested. Other
times blood is procured via veinapuncture method. Less than one
ounce of blood is drawn from a vein into 1-2 vials by experienced
personnel. The applicant will be asked if they have had previous
problems such as fainting, nausea, or are currently taking large
doses of asprin, have difficulty clotting or if they bruise easily
Can you get an infectious
disease from these blood collection procedures?
No! The sterile materials
used are in disposable kits and used only once. The examiner will
open the kit in front of the applicant as well as show the seal
being broken on the sterile needle or lancet.
What tests will
Each individual insurance
company selects the tests they need for the underwriting procedure.
Medical Services, Inc. is requested only to collect and prepare
blood for analysis; the insurance company gives instructions to
the lab regarding specific tests. The applicant is required to
sign a consent form and chain-of-custody form for their protection.
Who will receive
the results of the test?
The lab sends the results
directly to the insurance company. Medical Services, Inc. never
gets these results in our office.
What is an electrocardiogram
(ECG), what should I expect, and how can I assist the technician
to obtain a good ECG?
Sometimes an electrocardiogram
is required by the insurance company. It is a recording of the
electrical impulses associated with cardiac contraction and relaxation.
The ECG does not cause any paid whatsoever. You will be asked
to lie down flat with your shirt unbuttoned in order to place
the leads on your chest. Female applicants will only have ECG's
performed by female examiners. The best preparation is to remain
calm and totally relaxed to prevent muscle interference.
To save the applicant
time and to obtain the best possible results, here are some helpful
Blood pressure and
pulse can be artifically raised by stress, alcohol, caffine and
tobacco. Get a good night's sleep the night before the examination.
Abstain from alcoholic beverages for at least eight hours prior
to the the exam. Do not smoke or chew tobacco for at least one
hour prior to the appointment. Avoid drinking coffee, tea, or
caffinated soft drinks for at least one hour prior to the exam.
Limit salt intake and high cholesterol foods 24-hours before the
exam. Do not engage in strenuous physical activities 24-hours
before the exam.
The paramedical examiner
should be advised of any medications being taken by the applicant,
even non-prescription medications. The applicant should have available
any attending physicians' names, addresses, dates of past visits,
and any information regarding injury and major illnesses during
the recent past. If the applicant belongs to any H.M.O. plans,
or other prepaid medical plans, they should have the medical record
The applicant should
drink 1-2 8 oz. glasses of water about one hour prior to the appointment.
This will help in obtaining a urine specimen. If a blood specimen
is required, the applicant should not eat any food for a minimum
of four hours prior to the examination, unless otherwise instructed.
If it is possible for the applicant to fast a full twelve hours,
this would give the best profile results but it is not always