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30 Aug 15 Faulty LabCorp Test Results End Up in a $50 Million Verdict Against LabCorp

LabCorp and a Washington state medical center must pay $50 million to a Washington couple who won the jury judgment in 2013 after their son was born with birth defects, a Washington state appellate court ruled this week. The ruling was unanimous, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Attorneys for Rhea and Brock Wuth successfully argued in 2013 that the Wuths had asked for a test that would detect a rare genetic disorder while Rhea Wuth was pregnant with their son, Oliver.

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The test was administered by Valley Medical Center and produced by LabCorp. The couple argued that when it submitted the test to Dynacare Laboratories, a subsidiary of Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp), the doctor who submitted the results did not include documentation of family history or genetic information.

LabCorp's Palatial Headquarters

       LabCorp’s Palatial Headquarters in Burlington, NC

The couple argued that information that Brock Wuth had a chromosomal abnormality, which had a 50 percent chance of being passed to his offspring, was not made available to Dynacare, which did not ask for it but should have.

The hospital and LabCorp have been ordered to split $50 million payment, some of which will be used to provide lifetime care for Oliver.

Oliver Wuth was born July 12, 2008. The couple sued in 2010.

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20 Sep 13 LabCorp Jobs and Careers in Phoenix

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LabCorp Jobs and Careers for PhlebotomistsLabCorp (Laboratory Corporation of America NYSE:LH)  is seeking Phoenix-area technicians. They intend to hire 100 techs within the next 90 days. The company held a job fair in conjunction with the city of Phoenix on Sept. 10th at the Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Center, located at 302 N. First Ave., Phoenix Arizona.

They’re looking for phlebotomists, laboratory assistants, medical technologists and technicians, histotechnicians, health care related customer service reps, specimen processors and warehouse staff. I smell an expansion of locations, or is it the odor of bad employees being replaced? Either way, LabCorp careers are in the making so a word of advice to all those hired to work for LabCorp in Phoenix, treat your patients with respect and do your job. That’s all they expect from you.

LabCorp has more than 34,000 employees worldwide, most of which are good people caught in a bad “it’s quantity not quality that counts” system.

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18 Sep 13 LabCorp Accused of Medicaid Fraud in Virginia

LabCorp (Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings) has been hit with a whistle-blower federal lawsuit alleging the laboratory services company defrauded Virginia’s Medicaid program by billing it at much higher rates than other customers, according to a recently unsealed complaint filed in federal court on September 9th.

Laboratory Corporation of America Labcorp Medicaid FraudRelators Hunter Laboratories LLC and its founder Chris Riedel contend that LabCorp made false claims for payment of Medicaid-covered laboratory tests by claiming that the fees they charged to Medicaid were no higher that the maximum allowed under Virginia regulations.

As a participating Medicaid provider, LabCorp is required to provide services to Medicaid patients at their most favorable rates, but they repeatedly defrauded Medicaid by billing the program for fees well in excess of their lowest costs, according to the complaint.

For example, LabCorp, the Relators say, provided volume-based discounts to members of the Premier Inc. purchasing collective, resulting in discounted fees that are way below what LabCorp has billed to Medicaid.

“This suit calls defendants to answer for defrauding Virginia’s taxpayers and compromising the welfare of Medicaid beneficiaries,” the Relators said.

Additionally, for some tests, rates for private customers have been discounted well below costs, but LabCorp nevertheless has an interest in keeping those rates low in order to prevent any other laboratories from gaining a piece of the market, according to the complaint.

“In other words, by using the publicly funded Medicaid program to subsidize private discounts, the larger and better established laboratories have cornered much of the market for themselves,” the complaint said.

The suit alleges violations of the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act. The Relators are seeking civil penalties and treble damages.

Representatives for LabCorp did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Riedel and Hunter have won big in cases against LabCorp before. In 2011, LabCorp agreed to pay $49.5 million to settle a California lawsuit alleging it illegally overcharged Medi-Cal for laboratory tests and gave kickbacks in exchange for Medi-Cal referrals.

The suit originated with a qui tam complaint also filed in 2005 Riedel and Hunter alleging that LabCorp and others had systematically overcharged Medi-Cal over a 15-year period. In March 2009, then-California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced that the state had intervened in the suit.

 

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04 Aug 13 LabCorp Phlebotomist Job Openings

Labcorp Phlebotomist Draws BloodI noticed that LabCorp always advertises job openings for phlebotomists. Every LabCorp location is continually looking to hire them. It reminds me of when I was young and 7-11 convenience stores were everywhere. Every 7-11 had a sign that said “night manager wanted”. Back then nobody wanted the night shift so it was difficult to find individuals who would take the job. The question that comes to mind with the LabCorp “phlebotomist wanted” signs is; Is LabCorp always hiring phlebotomists because of employees leaving the company or because of growth?

LabCorp is the low price leader in the clinical laboratory market. They get customers, such as insurance companies, HMO’s and others by offering them the lowest price, not the best service. It’s what Kmart used to do but eventually Kmart had to file for bankruptcy because of lack of customer loyalty. The customers were there because of the cheap prices and nothing else. If anyone else offered a better price, they’d buy from them. It’s sort of the same situation that LabCorp is facing now. They get their customers strictly based on price.

Back to the phlebotomist. I believe that LabCorp always has job openings for phlebotomists as a result of their cutthroat low-pricing strategy. They undercut the prices of every other clinical lab and then have to make it up by paying their employees less than competitors. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. That’s not to say that all LabCorp employees are bad or lazy. They just happen to have a disproportionate share of them because of how they treat them. The good ones tend to go somewhere else, using LabCorp as the initial stepping stone in their phlebotomy career.

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01 Aug 13 LabCorp Computer with Personal Patient Information is Stolen

LabCorp Computer Stolen

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LabCorp notified the Maryland Attorney General’s Office that a computer had been stolen and that there was a security breach of patient information. The computer was stolen from one of its facilities in North Carolina and it contained patient names, dates of birth, and Medicare subscriber numbers.

LabCorp’s notification states that they notified law enforcement, but they failed to state when the theft actually occurred. And although they disclosed that 115 Maryland residents had data on the computer, they do not report the total amount of how many patients’ personal information was on the stolen computer.

Under the Federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) laws, there is the Privacy Rule, a Federal law which gives patients the rights over their health information and sets limits on who can look at and receive such information. The Privacy Rule applies to all forms of protected health information, whether electronic, written, or oral.

The information protected is:

  • Information your doctors, nurses, and other health care providers put in your medical record
  • Conversations your doctor has about your care or treatment with nurses and others
  • Information about you in your health insurer’s computer system
  • Billing information about you at your clinic
  • Most other health information about you.

In this case, LabCorp failed to maintain your information properly protected and those who stole the computer from the LabCorp center are able to look at it, pass it on to others and even post it on the internet. To see if  your information was on that computer, call the main LabCorp Headquarters by contacting them through email at privacyofficer@labcorp.com, calling LabCorp at (877) 234-4722 / (877-23-HIPAA) and asking for the LabCorp HIPAA Privacy Officer, or by sending a written request to: HIPAA Privacy Officer, LabCorp, 531 South Spring Street, Burlington, NC 27215.

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26 Jul 13 LabCorp Shareholders Disappointed

LabCorp Shareholders are DisappointedLabCorp shareholders were disappointed at the lower than expected earnings that Laboratory Corporation of America, also known as LabCorp, revealed. Medical laboratory operator Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings said Friday that its net income slipped in the second quarter and lowered its guidance for the full year. This was a major disappointment to analysts and shareholders alike, but not to the patients who have received lackluster service at LabCorp facilities.

Its revenue rose 3 percent but the company said the advance was constrained by reduced Medicare payments, steep federal budget cuts in April, and delays and denials of coverage by some health care payers after new payment codes were introduced. Its shares slipped by midday.

LabCorp said its net income fell to $151.9 million, or $1.62 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, down from $153.3 million, or $1.56 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 3 percent to $1.47 billion from $1.42 billion.

LabCorp said testing volumes rose 5 percent during the quarter, but revenue per request for testing fell 1.8 percent. It said testing for drugs of abuse increased. The company expects to earn between $6.90 and $7.10 per share for the year, down from $6.85 to $7.15 per share.

LabCorp said earlier this year that reduced Medicare payments will cut its annual net income by about 35 cents per share, and it maintained that view on Friday. Analysts are forecasting earnings of $7.08 per share.

The company still expects its annual revenue to grow 2 to 3 percent, which implies a total of $5.78 billion to $5.84 billion. Analysts project $5.79 billion in revenue on average. Shares of LabCorp (NYSE: LH) lost 74 cents on the announcement. As of today, July 26th, shares of LabCorp are trading at around $98 per share.

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15 Jan 12 LabCorp Under Investigation for Medicaid and Medicare Fraud

LabCorp Medicaid and Medicare FraudLabCorp has been sued and is under Federal investigation for Medicaid and Medicare fraud.  In addition, it’s under scrutiny by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee who is investigating Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Laboratory Corporation of America was ordered to hand over its financial records to the U.S. Senate.

A lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Federal government that claims LabCorp operated a “pull-through” scheme to force doctors covered by insurers to use LabCorp for all medical testing viagra uk buy. The suit claims LabCorp (NYSE: LH) offered illegal discounts to doctors in exchange for referring all their patients who need laboratory testing to the company.  According to federal anti-kickback laws, it’s illegal for health care companies to directly or indirectly compensate other parties to encourage them to order any service paid for by the federal health care programs.

Under federal law, companies can’t charge or participate in the Medicare or Medicaid program if they violate federal laws. The suit claims LabCorp charged Medicaid and Medicare more than $1 billion, which is about 20% of the companies total income. If LabCorp is found guilty they will not be allowed to conduct lab tests on anyone covered by Medicaid and Medicare, which is a large portion of LabCorps testing income.

On other news, LabCorp secured a new credit line of $1 billion. What a coincidence.

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10 Jul 11 LabCorp and Supervisor Charged With Discrimination

Discrimination at LabCorpLabCorp is being sued for allegedly violating the civil rights of an employee who complained about a supervisor’s racial remarks.

James Litomisky filed suit against Laboratory Corp. of America on June 27 in federal court of New Orleans. In the lawsuit, Litomisky argues he was terminated from his employment with LabCorp in retaliation for his objecting to, opposing, and refusing to cooperate with LabCorp’s discrimination against its employees with respect to the terms and conditions of their employment on the basis of their race.

Specifically, Litomisky alleges his supervisor made racist remarks regarding African American LabCorp employees. He objected to this language and complained to the human resource department. He was told the employees who were the butt of the racial comments must file complaints in writing on the proper forms for any action to be taken.

Less than a month later, he was placed on a performance improvement plan, allegedly in retaliation for his complaints about the discriminatory behavior. Litomisky also argues that his supervisor directed him to falsify quarterly performance management reviews of two African-American employees so that his supervisor could terminate them. Initially, he complied with the directive, but the next day he informed human resources of the incident and corrected the reviews. He was terminated from his position in October 2010, the lawsuit says.

The defendant is accused of violating the Louisiana Human Rights Act and the Louisiana Whistleblower Act. The plaintiff is seeking damages for back pay, reinstatement or in lieu of reinstatement, front pay, compensatory damages including medical expenses, pecuniary damages, damages for emotional distress, lost wages and benefits, punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

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23 May 11 Say Goodbye LabCorp

Here’s an email that we received from a LabCorp patient, or should we say a former patient.LabCorp Patient Waving Goodbye

I’m too beat down to go into all the ways labcorp sucks. However, after 1.5 hours I went somewhere else with out a test. Thank you for having this venue to vent my frustrations–Steve.

Here’s another email from another patient who will never step into a LabCorp center again.

LABCORPS SUCKS BIGTIME!!! Yep I’m sick of it… Filing a complaint w/ my employer..

Peter

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30 Jan 11 LabCorp Appointments Don’t Matter

Labcorp Appointments OnlineThe purpose of a LabCorp appointment is so that you do not have to wait too long when you go to the LabCorp Service Center for clinical lab services. LabCorp used to not take appointments and after Quest successfully implemented the appointment program, LabCorp followed suit and offers appointments through their LabCorp.com website.

I recently received an email from Brian who claims that LabCorp appointments don’t seem to matter to LabCorp service center employees. Here’s his LabCorp appointment story:

I had scheduled and kept an appointment Jan 22 , 2011 at the 2012 A Emmorton Rd site for an H.Pylori Breath test. When I got to the site they were unable to administer the test. The receptionist said they don’t give the test, the tech said they were out of the kits.
 
They told me there is no communication between the online appointment schedule program and the site. If this is true what is the point of using your scheduler. I was very disappointed by the receptionist . She told me I should have called to make sure they had the kit, that is an unreasonable assumption. She offered no assistance on contacting another labcorp site to see who had a kit.
 
I had to take the list she gave me, sit outside in the freezing cold weather and call several sites till I found the site in Dundalk that had a kit. Then I had to drive 25 miles to go take the test, this while fasting. This is the worst customer service I have ever seen in a lab. I plan to urge my employer to remove labcorp from the offerings and replace.

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