LabCorp Sucks
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Laboratory Corporation of America – Tell Your Story and File a Complaint
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26 Jul 09 LabCorp Claims to be Making Lots of Money for Stock Holders

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LabCorp Stock Making MoneyLabCorp (Laboratory Corporation of America) said it earned $136.4 million, or $1.24 per share, during the second quarter of 2009, up from $104.2 million, or 92 cents per share, during the same period in 2008.

Excluding restructuring charges, earnings per share were $1.30, compared to $1.24 last year. That’s an almost 5% increase in earnings.

Laboratory Corporation of America, whose NYSE symbol is LH, said its testing volumes rose 2.4 percent from the second quarter of last year, and revenues were $1.19 billion, an increase of 3.6 percent from the same period a year ago.

With about $1.2 billing in revenue for the quarter, LabCorp is making lots of money for their shareholders. But is it at the expense of patients? Is it by sacrificing quality of care? According to patient complaints on this site, it’s a very real possibility. Has Laboratory Corporation of America forgotten that it’s the patients that matter, and not just the insurance companies and third party payers?

When a company grows quickly, it tends to lose its competitive advantage by losing some control over its operation. Incompetent managers take control and run matters their own way, without regards to core company values. In most cases the senior managers see this happening and take immediate action to eliminate the bad apples. The decisions are made by senior managers who have the foresight to see their company succeed in the long-term, not just the short-term. In my personal opinion, LabCorp senior managers have not taken the necessary actions needed to get rid of those lower level managers who will eventually lead to the demise of such a fast growing company. It’s a common story in the health care industry. Remember Integrated Health Services, Coastal Physician Group and Coach? They all had big short-term growth but in the end did not succeed.

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18 Jul 09 LabCorp Denies Services to Heart Attack Patient Over Old $7 Debt

Labcorp Handwritten Note on DebtMany may have already heard about LabCorp’s bold move in denying services to a heart attack patient over an old debt of $7, but I just want to make sure that everyone hears about this incident. Below is the article by Donna Smith, the patient’s wife. She rightfully denounced Laboratory Corporation of America’s practice of disallowing services when “their” computer shows that an old debt was not paid, even if you have insurance and your insurance company may have made an error or did not pay the amount that Laboratory Corporation of America believed was due. Bottom line is that even with insurance, LabCorp will deny services to patients who they believe owe them money from prior services. Here is the note from LabCorp’s front desk that was given to Mr. Smith when he was denied services. You can click on it to get a bigger image.

OK, if this wasn’t personal enough just yet for me, it just got a whole lot more so. And if you think for one instant that in this nation at this point in history and with this popularly elected President and Democratic Congress you will be treated for a heart attack simply because you might die if you are not treated, think again. And if you think having insurance helps, think some more.

On Friday, my husband was denied a blood test because a computer record from some distant time past and some other state showed he had a $7 balance with LabCorp. I am not making this up.

My husband had a heart attack this week. He woke up one morning sweating profusely and with a heart rate dropping. I watched his color turn first ruddy then ashen, and then he felt as though he was going to pass out. He would not allow me to call 911 as he slowly began to feel sick to his stomach and he believed his symptoms were digestive rather than cardiac.

We have learned over the years to wait to seek care – it is expensive to do otherwise and dooms us to the endless loop of bills and collection notices and more damage to our already badly bruised credit rating. So we always wait to seek care until there seems to be no other option. We are not alone. Millions of Americans do the same. We do not want to use the emergency rooms or doctors’ offices. We don’t want anything to do with the whole mess.

We moved to Maryland in March, but have fought Humana insurance and Medicare transfer since then to even make sure my husband can get any care at all. And, by God, we were paying the premiums the whole time the insurance folks hemmed and hawed and stalled. It took three months to get that all straightened out, during which time they repeated over and over, “we’re not denying treatment,” and technically I suppose they weren’t as they want us all just to get out our checkbooks and debit cards and pay up. And in the meantime, my husband waited for any doctors’ appointment and got meds by calling back to Chicago to get prescriptions refilled.

My husband is a cardiac patient and a vascular patient with a complicated medical history and needs follow-up care on a regular basis. He is a responsible guy who has always maintained his insurance coverage and who avoids seeking care unless it is needed. He does not seek to overuse or abuse the system. To stay relatively healthy, he needs regular check-ups and decent intervention when necessary.

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But, I insisted my husband follow up in the way we all are told is more sensible and cost effective. He went to a primary care doc on Wednesday who shuffled him off to a cardiologist after a visit barely long enough to be billed as an “extended, new patient visit.” An EKG showed the grim reality. “Abnormal, negative T-waves. Inferior infarct.”

Blood work was ordered in advance of the cardiologist visit set for Friday. He was to fast overnight, see the cardiologist and then get his blood drawn. Seems to be progressing, eh?

Well, only until he sat down in the LabCorp office to get his blood drawn. The LabCorp employee typed in my husband’s Social Security Number, and promptly told him he could not have his blood drawn or have his test administered until he cleared up his old bill with LabCorp. The bill? $7. That’s right — $7.

And my husband has been covered by insurance for many years. But now he sat – post myocardial infarction or heart attack – being told by a laboratory employee that he would be denied care due to an unpaid $7 bill. He did not have $7 with him. He was fasting. He tried to explain. They did not budge. They did call the supervisor. She confirmed and stood her ground for LabCorp. No test for Larry Smith. He owes $7.

David King, the CEO of LabCorp, made $8.2 million in 2008. He’s one of the people and LabCorp is one of the companies President Obama is celebrating who will help transform our nation’s healthcare system. Indeed. And LabCorp’s political participation committee donated funds to several candidates in 2008, including Sen. Max Baucus and Sen. Charles Grassley, both of the Senate Finance Committee that is working on the nation’s healthcare reform.

Lest we think the insurance giants are the only people hurting, harming and killing Americans like my husband as they shore up their profits, follow the money in this story alone. One doctor’s office, another doctor’s office, one insurance company and finally a lab – all worked together to make what they could individually off my husband and then ultimately denied his care for $7. Everybody got their bite of the apple and then left him in the dust as they moved on to the next source of revenue, oops, I mean the next patient continue reading.

Where do we stand today? Still no blood work drawn. Waiting for next week to see what we can do to set the tests and exams the cardiologist ordered before she got busy with another patient. Did my husband return to the doctor’s office to tell them what happened and ask for their help? Yes. And he said not one person, not one, would reach into their pockets and give him the $7 or pick up the phone and try to help him resolve this. So what was his life worth? $7.

We’ll get the tests done somehow. But the point is, we’ll have to fight for it. And his heart will be stressed more and so on and so on and so on. This is the travesty of healthcare in this nation. And this Congress and this President are so damned concerned with their own political futures they cannot even see this reality for the rest of us. I am so angry.

And don’t tell me that a single payer – publicly funded and privately delivered system — wouldn’t stop heart attack patients from being denied care due to old debts of $7. It’s the only system that could stop that sort of abuse.

The LabCorp supervisor who denied Larry Smith’s test on Friday, June 26, in Elkridge, Maryland, is named Shirley Smith (no relation to Larry) at LabCorp’s Maryland office: 410-365-1264.

Donna Smith is a substantial supporter of the Democrat Party so in all fairness, LabCorp attorneys and management were also contributors to Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and many Democrat Senators and Members of the House of Representatives who are working on health care reform legislation. LabCorp is now trying to convince these same elected officials into making laws that benefit the company. According to Huffington Post, 7 identifiable LabCorp employees contributed to Republicans while 14 contributed to Democrats.

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12 Jul 09 At Laboratory Corporation of America Some Things Never Change

About a year ago this web site was launched as a result of incidents in LabCorp’s Miami, Florida facilities. Before it was launched I had a conversation with Laboratory Corporation of America’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Don Hardison. He seemed genuine and acknowledged that Laboratory Corporation of America had many operational problems. He stated that he was fairly new to the company but intended to fix all of them. I believed him.

After a year it looks like Don Hardison has not fixed LabCorp’s problems. I recently contacted the Miami division’s office and was informed that the regional director is still Bob Blanco, and that the Patient Service Center director is still Ana Garcia. I would have thought that after all the damage that these two have caused Laboratory Corporation of America, they would have been terminated. How can you fix a problem when the people creating the problems are at the helm? These two managers outright lied to me, and used the old “lie about them before they tell the truth about you” technique to get away with their incompetence.

Don Hardison COO of LabCorpThe fact that Don Hardison did not fire these two incompetent employees after my complaints makes me believe that he is not as genuine as he first made me believe. He talks the talk but he has not walked the walk. So I now ask, would the real Don Hardison please stand up? The Miami region’s customer service is probably worse than it was a year ago (according to comments on this site). This web site seems to get substantially more complaints about the company and its service centers than before. So what has Don Hardison fixed? All I see is the mask coming off and the real Don Hardison coming out. Just another Laboratory Corporation of America manager covering for the incompetence of those below him. It’s the “If they look good then you look like you are doing your job” philosophy. Forget reality.

In reference to the LabCorp Sucks web site, I intended to pull the plug once these two employees were fired for their actions. Their dismissal by Hardison would have shown that he, and  LabCorp, really mean what they say and that they intend to clean up the company and focus on customer service. That has not happened so this site is still up. Not to sound negative, I think that LabCorp Sucks will be around for a while.

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11 Jul 09 LabCorp Experience

I received an email from Tonya, who reminded me of my personal experiences with the service centers. The sad part is that LabCorp managers will backup the employees and defend their actions by telling their higher ups that the centers were in fact open at the time that they were supposed to. This makes it look like the manager is doing his/her job.

This is the most horrible lab services EVER ! They lie about what time they open. Out of three locations that state they open @ 7am none of them were open, nor could I reach anyone on the phone !

P.S. – They close earlier than they are supposed to as well.

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