LabCorp Sucks
msgbartop
Laboratory Corporation of America – Tell Your Story and File a Complaint
msgbarbottom
Sponsored links

18 May 10 LabCorp Billing Patient For Declined Tests

LabCorp Billing Mistakes Require a Big EraserI received this email from Anne. She’s very upset that LabCorp is billing her for tests that she declined when she was at the LabCorp center in Texas. In addition, the test that she specifically approved because it was to be paid for by Medicare was not performed. It’s not clear if the techs at the center made the mistake or if it was the laboratory. Whoever may have made the errors, it was not Anne and she is not required to pay. Instead of resolving the problem promptly, LabCorp continues their collection process. A suggestion to LabCorp, it’s never too late to fix a mistake. Based on the amount of complaints on this blog, I recommend the big eraser. It’s available by the case.

LabCorp Bills Medicare for TestsSince Anne is a Medicare recipient, she will be taking this matter directly to the government. I’m confident that this matter will be resolved and she will not have to pay. Even though Anne gave us authority to print her personal information, her letter was redacted for privacy purposes.

May 11, 2010

ATTN: PATIENT SERVICES

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings
PO Box 2240
Burlington NC 27216-2240

Ref: Invoice 115XXXXX

Amount: $296.00

Sponsored links

I attended your facility on March 29, 2010 with a request for services from my doctor’s office.

At your facility, a lady processed my paper-work. She took copies of:

  1. My Medicare card
  2. My insurance identification card
  3. My Mutual of Omaha pink physician sticker
  4. My TX driver’s license

She then informed me that two of the blood tests requested by my doctor:

  1. 80061 – LIPID PANEL
  2. 84443 –TSH

…would not be covered by Medicare. She printed out your Form CMS-R-131, listing those two tests and instructed me to choose and check an option, then sign and date the form.

I checked Option 3. “I don’t want the laboratory test(s) listed above. I understand with this choice I am not responsible for payment and I cannot appeal to see if Medicare would pay.”

I then signed and dated the form and the lady provided me with a copy. A copy of this form is included with this letter.

Your representative assured me that the remaining test requested by my doctor was a procedure covered by Medicare. Had she informed me otherwise, I would have most certainly declined that test as well.

Subsequently I was contacted by my doctor’s office to discuss the results of the blood test and they provided me with a copy of these results.

Patient Service Center Request LCM Req #: 50057XXXXXX (Copy enclosed).

The two test results were for the two procedures I had declined:

  1.  80061 – LIPID PANEL
  2. 84443 –TSH
  3.  

NO OTHER TESTS HAD BEEN CARRIED OUT.

 I then received your Invoice # 115XXXXX billing me for the two procedures I had specifically declined, PLUS procedures you had not even carried out.

Why am I being billed? As a result of my complaint, all I have received so far from your Patient Customer Service is a completely pointless form letter, clearly assuming I’m not particularly bright and explaining that the bill I am questioning is for clinical laboratory services performed at the request of my physician.

I have been checking up on your company online and I wasn’t surprised to find pages of complaints against you on every consumer protection website going. People have even gone so far as to dedicate websites to exposing Lab Corp.

I ask that you resolve this issue immediately otherwise I shall send copies of everything to the Texas Attorney General’s Office in Austin, Texas. In view of all the government litigation against you that I’ve been reading about, I’m sure they will be more than happy to help me.

Sincerely

Anne XXXXXXX

Attachments: 

  1. Copy of front and back of my Mutual of Omaha Insurance Identification Card.
  2. Pink Mutual of Omaha Physician Sticker
  3. Copy of your FORM CMS-R-131 clearing indication the declined procedures
  4. Copy of LabCorp Patient Service Center Request LCM Req # 50057XXXXXX listing the 2 test results submitted to my doctor.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

14 May 10 Alternatives to LabCorp

Alternatives to LabCorpI recently received an email from Jasmine, a patient who is unhappy with both LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics. I found her complaints interesting so here’s the content and my reply:

Sponsored links

Aside from Quest Diagnostics, do you know of any national labs that I can use instead of lab corp? They’re horrible.
Thanks. Jasmine

There are many regional labs but after extensive research I discovered that due to the regulations imposed on labs under the CLIA federal law, and the proliferation of managed care, there are very few labs that can be considered “national” labs. The consolidation of the industry has lead to even more business for these two lab giants. Not surprisingly, when local laboratories expand past the regional phase, either LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics buys them.

 Depending on where you live, there are local and regional labs that offer great services and are likely to be accepted by your insurance. They usually do not have as many service centers as the two large ones and are more likely to work directly with your doctor’s office. An example is Bio-Reference Labs in New Jersey and New York, Florida Reference Labs in South Florida and other such smaller lab companies. There are also others where you can mail in your specimen and have direct access to results. One of the leaders is Direct Laboratory Services (DirectLabs). The problem with them is that while you are dealing with DirectLabs through the web but you are also dealing with LabCorp, as they will send you to LabCorp to give blood for the test. This is basically a wholesaler that has LabCorp doing all the work for them and they provide the results for you. They only accept credit card payments and do not accept insurance. While their prices are lower than going directly through LabCorp, you will experience all the frustrations of dealing with Laboratory Corporation of America locations.

LabOne was considered a formidable contender but got acquired by Quest Diagnostics. Almost on a weekly basis, you will notice national labs acquiring smaller regional ones. Another option is using a hospital based lab. The problem with hospital based alternatives is that they may charge more for the services. If you’ve had enough with the big national laboratories, check with your insurance company to see the regional labs that are part of their approved networks.

It reminds me of the old AVIS rent a car ads whose slogan was “We try harder.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

06 May 10 LabCorp Baltimore

Janice from Baltimore sent me an email about her experiences at LabCorp. No complaints, just sympathy for all who have had problems with other LabCorp locations.

LabCorp BaltimoreFortunately, I have not had your extreme problems with LabCorp in Baltimore. They are my health insurance carrier’s choice, over which I have no control. I’ve read your story, and it is pitiful that LabCorp gets away with that. I just wanted to point out that you are a “glutton” for punishment. Gluten is something Alton Brown talks about frequently on “Good Eats” with regard to baking. Sorry you’ve had such a miserable time with LabCorp, and glad your blood tests finally came back with good news. Carry on!

Tags: , , , , ,

25 Apr 10 Your Blood Test Results at LabCorp

Your blood test results belong to you under federal law. I received an email from Mike about his daughter and their problems with getting copies of blood test results from LabCorp. You can read it below.

Feel free to post this complaint about Labcorp on your website:

My daughter had blood work done that was ordered by her doctor in the summer of 2009.  Early 2010, she has been referred to a specialist who wanted all of her previous records including blood test results.  I didn’t have any problem obtaining results from all other tests performed by the hospital.  The doctor that originally ordered the blood tests has retired and left a contact for medical records requests.  I didn’t have any success with the referred place so I contacted LabCorp directly and they told me that by law, they could not give me or my daughter the lab results.  They told me that only the doctor that ordered the tests could access the results.

I paid for these tests in full.  These are my records, not the doctors.  I walked right in the hospital and got all the other results with no problems.  The hospital told me that there is no law preventing a person from obtaining their own medical records.  I will never voluntarily use LabCorp again.  I recommend that if your doctor takes blood for tests, ask them what lab they use.  If they use LabCorp, ask them if there is another option.  If they write a prescription for tests, take prescription to your local hospital to get the lab work done.  Be sure to check to see if the hospital is on your insurance’s network.

Mike F from Amarillo, TX

Labcorp Blood Test Results and the Hipaa Law If you’ve had blood tests and the results are available, you can request a copy of the results. All you have to do is ask for it. It’s your right to get copies of the blood test results from the doctor, LabCorp or medical facility who administered the blood test. The federal law that allows you to ask for and receive copies of your health records is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA. After you request copies of your blood test results, the law states that the medical facility has 30 days to give them to you. Labs may ask you to sign a permission form before releasing them but as I understand HIPAA, they have to provide it to you.

In Mike’s daughter’s case, LabCorp failed to provide the records and claimed that the law prohibited them from providing copies of the lab test results. If anyone knows what law they are referring to, please let us know by posting a comment to this post. I spoke to various lawyers about this issue and they all told me the same thing, “Your lab test results are medical records that belong to you under HIPAA.” There are laws that require medical consultation in reference to certain test results but in Mike’s daughter’s case, the results requested were old records that had already been provided to the doctor. A word of advise to Mike is that you contact the Medical Board in your state about the custodian of the records for your retired doctor. They will make sure that you get the records that the doctor turned over to them. You should also tell them about  LabCorp’s refusal to provide you the records. I’m sure that there is a state licensing agency that wants to know all about it.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

31 Mar 10 Urine Tests at LabCorp Suck

Mike sent me an email with his LabCorp complaint and even included pictures. He went to LabCorp for tests, and one of them required him to provide urine samples. He had the urine tests but as you’ll read below, it was somewhat disgusting. After a long wait his doctor finally received the results from LabCorp and gave him an appointment for tomorrow. Hope the results are favorable for him. Here’s his email

 I went to Labcorp for routine medical tests today at 1217 East Ave, Sarasota.   When I arrived there were several elderly patients arguing with confrontational Labcorp employees that they had provided urine samples while the staff insisted that they had not. One elderly man stated that he witnessed his sample being stolen. 

LabCorp Urine Test - Bathroom FloorWhen my turn came, my blood was drawn and I was handed a cup and a plastic lid that looked like a paper coffee cup. It had my name written on it with pen, no number.  I was told to go into a bathroom. The bathroom was filthy and there were numerous puddles and spots of urine on the floor, the counters, the sinks. LabCorp Urine Test - Bathroom Sink

There were also several rings of urine left by previous cups on the counter. It was apparent that the urine was from numerous persons.   I was not given an alcohol wipe or instructed to wipe my hands. The woman scolded me for handing her the cup and told me to leave it on the dirty counter. I told her the bathroom was filthy and she said someone cleans it later. LabCorp Urine Test - Bathroom Sink Piss Rings

The employees there were morbidly obese, confrontational, rude, and appeared to have a limited intellect.   I am 50 years old and have utilized the health system in several states, Mexico, Central America and South America. I have never witnessed such a bizarre situation and unsanitary conditions in a health care facility.  This facility is below third world standards and I do not feel comfortable with the integrity of any results.   Mike

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

08 Mar 10 LabCorp Under Investigating by the U.S. Department of Labor

Department Of Labor Compalint Against LabCorpThe United States Department of Labor is investigating Labcorp for not being in compliance with their affirmative action plan and for discriminating against certain sectors of the population. In a recent letter received by LabCorp Sucks from a former employee, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs requested that their Jacksonville, Florida office consider the allegations made by the former employee when conducting future compliance evaluations of Laboratory Corporation of America.

If Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) is found to not be in compliance and fails to correct the problems, they can be sanctioned and could even be restricted from participating in the Medicaid and Medicare program, two major income sources for the Laboratory company. LabCorp can also be prohibited from participating in other government programs, including the CHAMPUS program (The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services) that provides laboratory services to government employees, and to Veterans Administration program beneficiaries. LabCorp currently contracts with all these government programs to provide reference laboratory services to program participants. Since many HMOs that serve the beneficiaries of these federal programs also contract with LabCorp, the HMOs would also be restricted from using LabCorp. The loss in business could be in the hundreds of millions and could be catastrophic to LabCorp stock (NYSE: LH).

LabCorp’s discrimination problems have been well known to company insiders. The company has various lawsuits pending and has had to settle others by paying out millions. In a recent Florida case, LabCorp even had to fire the law firm representing them after accusations of obstruction of justice by the firm.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

06 Mar 10 LabCorp Technicians are Not Properly Trained

LabCorp Managers and SupervisorsSusan sent me an email that I find interesting. It’s an experience that many current and former LabCorp patients have lived through. It goes to the root of the problem, that the supervisors and managers at LabCorp, in my opinion, are some of the worst in the industry. I can’t blame the technicians, phlebotomists and clerks for their actions when the managers and supervisors fail to properly train them or even call to their attention their wrongdoings.

As many LabCorp employees have stated in this site “forget qualifications, if you kiss butt at LabCorp you move up.” In my personal case when I complained to Bob Blanco, the district manager, he insulted me and called me a liar. The director of patient services, Ana Garcia, also insulted me and said I was lying. This is how these bad managers cover their incompetence. If the employees are not doing their job appropriately, the managers are responsible. By supervisors closing their eyes to reality and making believe that everything is good, they believe that they did their job. The worst part is that the company executives believe them and instead of firing them, promote them. I predict that this fantasy land scenario will bring this company down, regardless of how much money they sucker out of Wall Street.

LabCorp Drawing BloodI am very bad with computers and didn’t see where to post my own story,  but I have quite a tale that you can file with whomever you wish.  I would title it “Lab Corp technicians are not fully trained to a competent level.”  I sent a similar story to Lab Corp a while back and called our insurance company,  BC/CS of NJ Directly this morning.

On January 22, 2010,  I had a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) done at a Lab Corp.  The technician told me I was scheduled to have a one hour GTT and directed me to drink the sugar water.  Startled, I asked if they didn’t need to take a base line blood evaluation ahead.  He said no, so I drank it.  Fifteen minutes later a worker came rushing into the waiting room and said I needed to take a base line test IMMEDIATELY.  The same now nervous tech took 3 tries getting my blood.  Admitting I should have had the test prior to drinking,  he also told me that I had only drunk 2/3 the amount of glucose required for that test,  therefore guaranteeing me false results.

LabCorp Patient and StressFor the next 45 minutes  I shivered on the table unable to get warm (shock?).  I’ve had cancer and mono and so don’t take such tests lightly.  During that time  I heard my tech giving instructions  on “how to do it” to yet another tech that was administering another GTT in a different room!

For the final blood drawing my tech tied the rubber tubing so tight around my arm that I yelled.  He loosened it,  but I had fairly continuous tingling in my hand for the next 5 or 6 days, and still do on occasion weeks later.  Yet a new symptom and worst,  when I went to get off the table  I couldn’t walk.  More than 5 weeks later I still have trouble walking.  I pointed out to the insurance company this morning that they have spent an exorbitant amount on me for this mistaken test.  I have been to emergency and specialists’ rooms fairly continuously since then.  Indeed,  I spent the night before last in the hospital under observation;  the reason being that I could not stand at all.

I told our insurance company I was making a complaint about Lab Corp and “suggested” that they do one of two things.  Either they should not have Lab Corps as their only covered lab or that they pressure the company to adequately train their technicians before releasing them to commit mayhem.  Weeks ago  I had written to Lab Corp that I didn’t feel that the technicians are the responsible parties when I see TWO at such a loss.  I blame the company!

I was motivated to call this morning since I need yet another blood test tomorrow to find out why my legs keep collapsing.  I dread another visit to Lab Corp!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

05 Feb 10 LabCorp Locations in Arlington Virginia

There are many complaints about employees in LabCorp locations throughout the country mistreating patients. Deb sent me an email about her unfortunate encouter in LabCorp’s Arlington Virginia Location. What one would expect to be a 5 minute event turned into an hour ordeal. Why? Just because they can. Management in these LabCorp locations does not seem to care about patient satisfaction. After all, LabCorp is the low-price leader to HMOs and insurance companies. Who needs to treat people with the respect that they deserve when you get them through pricing practices. While I find Laboratory Corporation of America employees who treat patients this way revolting, it’s really managements fault. The supervisors do not seem to care and just push for production. Patients will complain as Deb did about the Arlington VA location, but management does nothing about it.

I went to LabCorp in Arlington VA last Saturday am in the middle of a snowstorm that was getting worse by the minute. All I had to do was drop off a specimen, and I informed them of that the minute I walked in. After two more interruptions by me asking why I couldn’t just drop it off, they finally took it from me – an hour after I walked in the door. So, I sat for an hour in a waiting room filled with sick people (and I am not sick), while 8 inches of snow was falling and the roads getting worse by the minute, and they couldn’t be bothered to take a plastic bag of test tubes from me. They weren’t even apologetic. I think I would have been there another hour if I hadn’t finally thrown a huge FIT at the desk.

I wrote an email complaining to them about this, but you know they won’t even respond to it. They are a terrible company.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

18 Jan 10 LabCorp Loses Blood Samples Again

Labcorp Blood Test LostHere’s a very common complaint. Patient walks into a LabCorp location, has blood drawn, LabCorp loses the blood samples and still bills for the test. This very illegal LabCorp billing practice will eventually backfire. How can LabCorp billing charge for an exam that they did not do? Worse yet, how could they lose the blood samples? Even worse, can it have been tested and another patient receive the results as if their own? It all reminds me of a Looney Toons cartoon I used to watch when I was a little kid. A long floppy eared dog goes running after another animal and stops in its track saying “which way did he go??? Which way did he go???”

Here’s an email that I recently received. It tells the complete story:

Couldn’t believe that there is a whole website devoted to Labcorp screw ups! On November 23rd, 2009, my husband and I both went to Labcorp with physicians work orders in hand. After waiting about an hour, we finally had our respective blood drawn. My husband’s was routine. I am a cancer patient and had two orders, one from my oncologist and the other from my primary care doctor. Even though the facility was very busy and it was a Monday (I should have known better), there was only one phlebotomist on hand. She stated that she was the only one drawing blood there for the past month.

We never heard from our doctor with the results, so on a visit this past weekend, we asked our doctor what the results were. She stated she never received them and proceeded to call Labcorp. She was told they had no record of us going into their facility in November. On a hunch, I called our provider, Humana, on Monday and was told Labcorp had billed them over $500 for my labwork on November 23rd and also had billed them for my husband’s. So, according to labcorp, we never went there on November 23rd, yet they billed Humana over $500!! Meanwhile, we had to have our blood re-drawn yesterday. This time we went to Quest Diagnostics. Maybe we’ll have better luck there. I have filed a complaint with Internal Affairs at Humana and hope to follow up with a letter to labcorp if I can find the proper person to send it to.

Carolyn

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

04 Jan 10 LabCorp Test Mistakes HTLV Virus

LabCorp MistakesI received this email from Joan in New York who was misdiagnosed as having the HTLV virus by LabCorp. LabCorp mistakes, like this one, cause thousands of dollars in additional tests and devastate the lives of those misdiagnosed. Sadly, LabCorp may have mixed her blood samples with someone elses or could have had a bad reading because of tired, overworked Laboratory technicians. We’ll never know why Laboratory Corporation of America made this mistake, but I can guarantee you that it’s not the first nor will it be the last.

Here’s what Joan had to say:

Labcorp original blood work returned a positive result for HTLV, Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus.  If you can imagine, I was devastated.  The last two weeks have been awful. This virus is much like HIV;  it’s sexually transmitted, and transmitted through needle sharing and blood transfusions. My doctor also communicated there was no cure. 

I could not imagine where I would have contracted such a disease, but I have been feeling weak and tired, and assumed it was true.   My family and I have been devastated.

My doctor does not trust Labcorp, but since Labcorp is the only approved lab with United Health Care, (shame on United Health Care) he ordered a second test.  In the meantime, he has sent me to numerous other MRI appointments and the like looking for tumors, all at the cost of my insurance company.  Last night, I got the results and the second test was negative for HTLV.  I am grateful that I don’t have HTLV, [if I can trust their second test]; but I wonder if there is someone else out there who does… and does not know. I question Labcorp’s  laboratory process and wonder if they got the blood mixed up otc viagra substitutes. Is it possible that there is a person out there who is positive for HTLV and is unknowingly spreading this death sentence virus to others?  Labcorp is incompetent.

I agree with you… Labcorp sucks!

Joan

New York, NY

HTLV Virus ProgressionHere’s information about this dreadful disease and how devastating it is. Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-I) causes adult T-cell leukemia in about 2.5% of those persons infected with the virus. The time between acquiring the infection with HTLV-1 and developing disease is thought to be 30-50 years. HTLV-1 also can cause a neurological disease called HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis in about 5% of those infected. This is an illness that affects the spinal cord and white matter of the central nervous system. Manifestations include difficulty walking and weakness and stiffness of the lower extremities more than the upper extremities. Bowel and bladder control may be lost. A number of other disorders have been associated with HTLV-1 including inflammation of the joints or eyes. HTLV-I is endemic in Japan, the Caribbean, New Guinea and parts of Central Africa. Prevalence is highest in southwest Japan. It is not common in the United States.

Human T-lymphotropic virus type 2 (HTLV-II) may cause neurodegenerative disease such as myelopathy, and it may be associated with hematological malignancies but the association between the virus and these diseases is weak. The virus is endemic in Native Americans in South, Central, and North America.

Enzyme immunoassay screening of serum, with confirmation by type specific western blot, immunofluorescent assay or polymerase chain reaction can be used to determine carrier status and help in confirmation of either HTLV-I or HTLV-II disease. Specific pathological conditions must be present for disease diagnosis.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,