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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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04 Aug 13 LabCorp Phlebotomist Job Openings

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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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23 Nov 10 LabCorp Test Results

Labcorp Test ResultsLabCorp test results should show that my PSA level is dropping…..if they are accurate. I went to my doctor’s office today. His assistant drew blood and I provided a urine sample. Last time the urine specimens were lost by LabCorp, so I want to see what happens to them this time. I say specimens because I provided two different urine samples and BOTH were lost by LabCorp.

LabCorp Test Results ErrorsAfter my doctor’s visit last time I waited for over 10 days to get LabCorp test results. After the extensive wait, no results were available. The doctor couldn’t figure out what happened to the urine samples after LabCorp took them. His office called LabCorp but no one could find them or provide an answer as to why there were no test results. They did however provide the results for the blood test.

If you have 3 specimens and you only provide test results for one of them, you’re only 33.3% reliable. That’s way too low for a health care related test that is used by a doctor to determine the next course of action.

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11 Nov 10 PSA Test by LabCorp

PSA testPSA 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.

PSA Blood TestWithin 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.

Prostate Test Digital ExamThe 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.

Prostate PSA and Bacteria Test Urine SampleA 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!

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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

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