Welcome to Ariana Sciences!
We operate specialized laboratories in Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee, focusing on cancer diagnostics and infectious disease testing. Our physician and hospital clients send pathology to us because of our expertise, high level of diagnostic quality, rapid turnaround times, and professional and careful handling of patient specimens. We treat your specimen as if it came from a family member, and strive to be as helpful as possible with any concerns on billing.
What is a Pathologist?
Pathology is the study of disease. Pathologists are specially trained medical doctors who have completed medical residency (and often times further specialized training) in pathology. They dedicate most of their time to interpreting microscopic information from the body that might indicate the presence of diseases. Pathologists use microscopes to look at slides prepared from biopsies or other collections of cells, such as those that come from Pap tests. Many pathologists focus on general surgical pathology (examining specimens removed during major and minor surgeries) and some receive additional subspecialty training in a variety of areas, such as cytopathology, dermatopathology, hematopathology, etc. Pathologists also often own, oversee, maintain, and/or direct laboratories where tissues and cellular specimens are processed using technologically advanced equipment and highly trained laboratory personnel.
How does your physician work with pathologists?
Pathologists are often called the “physician’s physician” by their colleagues in other medical specialties, a tribute to the importance of the pathologist in patient care. Your physician speaks with a pathologist regarding critical health information including diagnosis of disease, indications of disease prognosis, additional testing that may be conducted, and potential therapeutic interventions. Pathologists are your physician’s partners in patient care. This means that you have another doctor that you may never meet face-to-face. In short, pathologists often provide the information your physician needs to make a determination of how to care for you.
Why am I getting a bill from Ariana Sciences when I have never been there?
Most likely you recently visited a physician’s office, clinic, surgery center, or hospital. During that visit, a physician surgically removed tissue from your body (a biopsy) or collected cell samples via a brushing (e.g. a Pap), washing, or some other collection method. Your doctor then sent the biopsy or cell specimen to one of our laboratories for evaluation. This is a separate billable event and we bill your insurance company for our testing services. Like any other medical bill, depending on your insurance benefits, the type of service (routine exam vs. diagnostic), and your deductible level, you may be responsible for none of the bill, all of the bill, or a portion of the bill.
What happens to my specimen?
Upon arrival in our laboratory, tissue or Pap specimens undergo multiple complex processing steps in order to be placed on glass slides by our professional staff. Each slide is examined by one of our board-certified pathologists and/or our certified cytotechnologists and a diagnosis is rendered. A report is generated and sent to your physician, who in turn is responsible for contacting you with the results.
How are pathology services billed?
Pathology services are covered under most insurance plans. Your physician will provide us with your medical insurance information along with your specimen and we will bill your insurance directly for the pathology services performed. If your insurance company denies the claim or if any portion of it is unpaid by your insurance, then you may receive a bill from us for anything that your plan does not cover. For example, if you have a deductible that must be met or if the test that your physician orders is not covered by your particular plan, the services performed will be billed to you for payment. If you do not understand why you are receiving a bill from us, the first step you can take is to contact us.
Why am I receiving a bill for my Pap test?
Typically Paps are covered in full by insurance plans as an integral part of routine medical exams. If you have had normal results from Pap tests in the past, they were probably fully paid by your insurance plan and you likely had no further responsibility. However, if the Pap diagnosis is abnormal (e.g. ASCUS, LSIL, HSIL, or CIN, etc.) and/or under certain other conditions, it can be deemed as a “diagnostic” service and ceases to be a “routine” service. It is then treated by most insurance plans just like any other diagnostic test (a biopsy for example) and you may have to pay a portion of the bill depending on your specific benefits and the level of your deductible.
Women’s Health FAQs
What is a Pap test?
While studying ovarian and uterine cycles in vaginal specimens in 1923, George N. Papanicolaou, MD discovered that the cells of women with cervical cancer showed abnormal changes. In 1943, he and gynecologist Herbert F. Traut published Diagnosis of Uterine Cancer by the Vaginal Smear. Further research demonstrated that pre-cancerous changes could also be detected. This research and subsequent screening practices led to the most successful cancer-screening tool in history: the Pap test, named after Dr. Papanicolaou. Modern Pap tests are performed on liquid-based technologies, mainly ThinPrep® and SurePath™.
Why get a Pap test?
The Pap test has been the single most effective screening tool ever available to modern medicine in the fight against cancer. If caught early and treated properly, cervical cancer is curable. The American Cancer Society states that cervical cancer deaths have dropped by 74% since 1955 in the U.S., and the death rate from cervical cancer continues to decline at a rate of 4% per year. These favorable numbers are attributed to the use of the Pap test. Cervical cancer is, generally speaking, very slow to develop. Changes in the cells of the cervix can be detected by microscopically examining them after they are collected by your doctor and sent to a pathology laboratory. If abnormalities are found early, treatments are extremely effective.
What is a cervical FISH test?
HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted infection and the leading cause of cervical cancer. Depending on the strain of HPV, cervical cells can be damaged by the virus which can later lead to the development of cervical cancer. Keep in mind, testing positive for HPV does not mean that you are automatically developing cervical cancer, but you and your physician do need to know if the infection has caused DNA damage to your cervical cells.
If your Pap test result comes back abnormal or positive for HPV, your physician may order a cervical FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) test from your Pap sample in order to understand if the HPV infection has caused damage to your cervical cells. With the results of this test, your physician will be better equipped to provide you with the best care to prevent cervical cancer from developing.
What is NIPS?
Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening, or NIPS, is a blood test that expecting mothers can opt-in for as early as 10 weeks gestation in order to assess their baby’s risk of having a chromosomal abnormality. NIPS closely looks at the mother’s blood which contains fragments of her baby’s DNA. From the baby’s DNA fragments, the screening technology can assess whether the baby has a risk of genetic disorders associated with abnormal chromosome counts or deletions. The most common genetic disorders that are screened for are trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome), or trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome). Your physician may suggest for your baby to also be screened for less common or less severe conditions that can be detected through abnormal sex chromosome counts or microdeletions.
Following are several links on medical conditions, cancer, testing, and related topics that you may find useful. These websites are not affiliated or endorsed by Ariana Sciences and are provided for informational purposes only. They are not intended to be used as advice or in place of a consultation with your physician about your health care.
My Medical Report
The best way to access your medical report is to request it from your doctor. However, if you would prefer to receive it directly from us, we would be happy to provide it to you. All you have to do is follow the instructions below.