LabCorp Sucks
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Laboratory Corporation of America – Tell Your Story and File a Complaint
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05 Feb 10 LabCorp Locations in Arlington Virginia

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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.

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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???”

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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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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.

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27 Sep 09 LabCorp Billing Patients More Than Allowed

LabCorp Billing & Attorney Who Want to Hear From YouI recently received an email from John Hoevel, a prominent attorney in Chicago, who is thinking about filing a class action lawsuit against LabCorp for over billing patients. It seems that LabCorp is billing the patient’s insurance company and then over-billing the patient more than the patient responsibility portion of the insurance (or as LabCorp Billing & Over Chargingthey call it in the insurance world, more than the co-payment). The bottom line is that if LabCorp is billing patients more than they are allowed, Hoevel & Associates wants to stop them.

He would like to hear from you if:

1. Your insurance company processed a claim for LabCorp services, and

2. LabCorp or LCA Collections billed you for a balance higher than the patient responsibility amount shown on your insurance company’s Explanation of Benefits (EOB), and

3. You paid the balance, or any portion thereof flagyl pills.

You can contact Mr. John Hoevel by emailing him at lab@hoevellaw.com. All emails will be kept confidential and you may have an opportunity to recover some of those over-billings.

If you are a LabCorp employee who knows about this or any other unethical practice by LabCorp, please contact Mr. Hoevel. Your statements can be very useful in stopping unethical actions by LabCorp and you and your job will be fully protected by the law under the Whistleblower Act. You might even get a reward.

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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.

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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02 Oct 08 Who’s at fault for bad health care?

I have been reading some of the comments posted by LabCorp employees in this blog. It’s interesting how many of them blame everyone else but themselves for the poor service that patients get at LabCorp centers. According to the employees posting, the doctor, the insurance company and even the patient themselves are at fault. I would have to agree with them. Everyone else but you is at fault for bad health care.

The doctor, for sending the patient to the LabCorp center in order to get a blood test. The insurance company, for going with the lowest bidder and allowing LabCorp into their network of providers. The patient, for allowing their doctor and insurance company to send them to LabCorp for blood tests. They are all at fault that Labcorp has deteriorated as a service provider. It’s their fault that the test results can’t be trusted. It’s their fault that centers close early and that employees treat the patients with such disrespect.

It’s not the fault of the mid-level manager that strives to make a quick buck so that the upper manager commends them. It’s not the Patient Services supervisor who has not idea of what “real” patient services Blood Laboratory means. It’s not the service center receptionist who treats patients as though they are doing them a favor by taking their blood. It’s not the laboratory personnel that quickly runs blood tests through the system so that they can meet their daily quota, disregarding the quality standards that insure the accuracy of the tests.

Employees who were sent here to defend the company, my recommendation to you is that you have all your fellow employees look in the mirror to see who is really at fault for bad health care. My recommendation to the doctors, insurance companies and patients that are causing all these problems. Stop sending, paying or going to LabCorp for tests. That should resolve all the problems.

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