PSA tests are common for men. A Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test measures the level of PSA in the blood. A blood sample is sent to the laboratory and the amount of PSA in the blood is measured. PSA is produced by prostate cells and the levels in the body can be used to detect disease.
When PSA levels are elevated it’s important for the doctor to find out why. The levels could be high for many reasons, from a bacterial infection to a tumor or cancer in the prostate. So when a standard blood test at my cardiologist showed high PSA levels I got concerned. The first thing I noticed is that even though the blood was drawn in my doctor’s office, it was sent to Lab Corp to be analyzed. It’s the only lab he uses so I had no choice but to use LabCorp. He immediately told me to go see a Urologist.
There’s only one Urologist that I felt comfortable with, Dr. Bejany in the University of Miami Clinic building. He is not only a friend, but one of the best Urologists in Miami, Florida.
Within a few days I was in his office with the original LabCorp test results showing elevated PSA levels. While he reviewed the results I told him that the test could have been faulty and that I am not confident in the results because it was performed by LabCorp. He said that it’s possible so he had his staff draw blood for another PSA test. I immediately noticed that his office also uses Laboratory Corporation of America for PSA tests.
The doctor wanted to rule out bacterial infections so he had me fill a cup with urine. That was also marked to be sent to LabCorp. I was then moved into an exam room where he performed a digital exam. After the physical exam he requested that I do a second urine test. From the time of the first test to the second one I had ample time to drink plenty of water. I once again filled another cup of urine and after I gave it to his nurse, she marked that one for LabCorp as well. So far so good as the tests went.
After a week I called the doctors office to see what the test results showed. The nurse on the phone was baffled and kept me on hold for a few minutes. She searched all her files but was unable to provide results. She explained that the person in the office who handled the test was out for the day and that she couldn’t find any of my results. She requested that I call the next day when she’s in the office. That was yesterday.
Today I eagerly called to get the results. As anyone with the possibility of having a life-altering disease can tell you, every day without results feels like a month. The receptionist on the phone checked my file and put me on hold. I was on hold for a few minutes when she returned and said that she was checking with someone else in the office about my results. After being on hold for another 4 minutes she answered that she was still looking for the PSA test results and once again put me on hold. Knowing the efficiency of this doctor I started to get concerned about what the results showed.
A few minutes went by and the doctor picked up the phone. He told me that the PSA blood test showed my PSA levels dropping since the first PSA test, but they were still above medically acceptable levels. I asked about the possibility of a bacterial infection versus a tumor or cancer and his response was something I was concerned about, the urine tests inexplicably showed no results. It had to happen to me AGAIN, LabCorp screwed up. LabCorp either lost or failed to process both of my urine samples.
Could it be that they intentionally threw out the samples because they know I’m the author of LabCorpSucks.com? That would take too much thinking on their part. From the way they run their operation, it would be giving them too much undeserved credit. Could it be that they just outright SUCK. That makes more sense to me. They not only lost one, but two urine samples. Talk about incompetence.
The doctor decided that it didn’t make sense to have me come in again for another urine test and wait another week. He prescribed antibiotics just in case a bacteria was causing the increased PSA levels. I was then requested to come in next month for another PSA blood test to see if the antibiotics resolved the problem. He was clearly frustrated at the LabCorp PSA test results, or should I say lack thereof. I wasn’t as I know that LabCorp sucks!
Tags: bacterial infection, blood test, blood test results, elevated psa levels, high psa levels, lab corp, labcorp, LabCorp Complaints, LabCorp Doctors, LabCorp Mistakes, laboratory Corporation of America, laboratory test, physical exam, prostate specific antigen, psa test, psa tests, test results, urine sample, urine test, urologist
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.
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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
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: blood test results, blood tests, blood work, complaints, health insurance portability and accountability, health records, labcorp, LabCorp Complaints, LabCorp Mistakes, Labcorp Wrongdoings, labs, medical records