Planet Heart offering 'sweet deal' during February

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
John Rahn believes a trip to Planet Heart may have saved his life. (Photo submitted)

In celebration of National Heart Month in February, Spencer Hospital is offering a special discounted rate of $75 for anyone who schedules an appointment for both a heart check and a stroke check offered through the hospital's Planet Heart program.

"Typically, each screening is offered at $50 for a combined fee of $100 if a patient wishes to have both tests preformed," Mary Brosnahan, director of Diagnostic Imaging, said. "During Heart Month we want to encourage people to have both screenings done, and to offer a little extra incentive, we are discounting the two screenings together for $75."

"During my routine physical, my physician strongly encouraged me to have a Planet Heart screening. That simple exam may have saved my life. The results indicated a significant blockage. The Planet Heart screening and subsequent treatment likely prevented a serious medical condition in my future." John Rahn, Planet Heart patient, said.

Brosnahan added, "A Heart Check is a convenient and cost-effective screening program, which can determine if a patient is at risk for a cardiac episode and then plan to prevent it, or give that person peace of mind that his or her coronary arteries are healthy. The Stroke Check provides ultrasound screening exams of three areas of the vascular system that often pose risk for stroke: the carotid arteries, peripheral arteries and also abdominal aortic aneurysms. Symptoms of vascular disease may include leg pain, numbness or weakness in legs and feet, or you simply may have no symptoms at all. Yet, through a Stroke Screening you can learn if hidden dangers lurk in your vascular system and take steps to improve your health."

A Heart Check screening includes a calcium score CT, blood pressure check, body mass index, cholesterol and blood sugar tests, education and risk assessment with an expert cardiovascular team, nutrition counseling with a dietitian and, if needed, tobacco cessation information. Spencer Hospital is also providing a free day pass to the hospital's Athletic Enhancement Center to any Planet Heart participant. The various tests are valued at several hundreds of dollars; however, both screenings are offered year-round at a discounted rate to encourage people to take a proactive approach to determining their risk factors for coronary or vascular disease.

"Planet Heart has been a widely popular program," Brosnahan said. "Just recently, we served our 2000th Planet Heart patient. We're pleased that so many people are taking advantage of the information obtained in a Planet Heart screening. It's rewarding to know that we can help identify a health risk and fix it, before it becomes a health tragedy."

To qualify for the screening program, a person cannot have had a previous heart health incident. Also, men must be age 40 years or older and women need to be at age 45 or older. The $75 comprehensive heart and stroke check fee is paid at the time of service and is not processed through the participant's insurance company. The discount is offered on appointments made during the month of February, but the actual screening does not need to be scheduled for a February date.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about Planet Heart screening programs, please call 264-6500.

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