LabCorp Sucks
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Laboratory Corporation of America – Tell Your Story and File a Complaint
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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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01 Aug 13 LabCorp Computer with Personal Patient Information is Stolen

LabCorp Computer Stolen

Click to View LabCorp Letter

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.

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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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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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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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05 Nov 10 LabCorp Urine Test

Labcorp Urine Drug TestI received a very disturbing email from a lady who was sent to LabCorp for a urine test. This is a fairly simple process regulated by federal guidelines as it can cause the loss of employment if not properly administered. In this case it never got to that point. She complains that after sitting in the waiting room for over one and a half hours, she was asked to leave without being able to provide her urine sample.

Customer service is an important part of every business. When you have a customer waiting inside a facility and he or she has been in a facility for an extended period of time, it is common courtesy to provide the service before closing. In this case, they just chased all the customers out. It is without a doubt one of the worst violations of customer service principles that I have seen. I’m fairly confident that even poorly trained LabCorp managers would object to the actions of their employees in this case. If they do something about it, now that’s a different story. Here’s the email I received:

LabCorp Urine TestI was sent there (Labcorp) by an employer for a urine test. I sat there for over 1 1/2 hours (well before 4p.m). The woman came out and announces “all of you here for “P-Test” have to return on Monday, we are not doing anymore today.” I told her look,I have to have this done today in order to start work…her reply was that’s not our problem….WTF…

I have all of my certifications for phlebotomy ……Those employees are rude,hateful and just out right nasty. They are the laziest people I have ever seen.

Thanks,

F.Kim

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24 Oct 10 Former LabCorp Phlebotomist Speaks Out

In reference to our previous post “LabCorp Locations in Northern California“, a former LabCorp employee sent me an email that explains part of the problems at the LabCorp Patient Service  Centers:

LabCorp PhlebotomistNow I just wanted to say it is true that a location with low volume of patients only require one PST (Patient Service Tech), but what does low volume mean?  40-60 patients?

While being at LabCorp for a short time, I was told that one location received high volume (~300 patients) which required 6 PSTs.  Now I worked at a hospital before and we each phlebotomist draws around 35-40 patients a day (about 300-400 patients a day)  so does that mean 40-60 patients at a LabCorp PSC equals low volume?  

Somehow, I think LabCorp PSTs forget that at a hospital outpatient blood draw room, there is a receptionist that processes all the requisitions, prints out labels, copies, fax, and handles inquiries.  The phlebotomists at a hospital draw blood [and then maybe process specimens and paperwork on their next rotation].  LabCorp PSTs on the other hand have to also do the receptionist side of the work during their 8 hour shift.  Having one PST at a “low volume” location is definitely understaffed when you think about the paperwork and LCM entries they have to also make just so that patients don’t wait over 15 minutes.

And one more thing. There are a lot of grumpy PSTs that’s been at LabCorp and say they love it there. Little do you know they put on a smiley face when dealing with patients (hence why patients love them) and when patients are gone, they complain and talk crap Proud Phlebotomist Leaves LabCorp Jobabout them.  Why do they love LabCorp?  Because there’s no supervisor or someone higher up on-site to watch mistakes going on.  You can practically never ever wash your hands or wear gloves, stick a patient more than the allowed 2 times, and do manipulate the time clock system and get away with it.  Me?  I can’t stand this sort of unprofessionalism hence why I left quick-fast.

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20 Oct 10 LabCorp Locations in Northern California

I received a letter from Marlayna who works at a LabCorp location in the northern California area. She espouses the positives of the LabCorp patient service center she works at. Anyone from Northern California feel the same way? Let us know your opinion.

Here’s what she has to say:

Labcorp Locations in Northern CaliforniaIn Northern CA, LabCorp is a preferred provider for United Healthcare. 80% of the patients that I see in a day have United Healthcare. We also do accept Aetna insurance. LabCorp offers the cheapest lab rates to patients. If you were to pay cash for your tests, the cheapest you would find would be LabCorp. The price that is billed to insurance companies just depends on what they are contracted for. 

Also, at most sites in this area, only one phlebotomist is working. When a location does not receive a high volume of patients, only one technician is necessary. Anything more than that would be wasteful. It is not an under staffing issue, it is just a simple supply and demand. I work for LabCorp and I love it here, and most all of my patients love me.  

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04 Jun 10 LabCorp Appointments Complaint

LabCorp AppointmentsWhat good are LabCorp appointments? Amanda sent me an email with her experience at LabCorp. Even though she made an appointment and brought all the proper documentation, including a prescription from her doctor, she was unable to take her required tests.

The “chaotic” daily operation of a LabCorp center and the “entitlement” philosophy of certain LabCorp employees makes you not want to ever set foot in their service centers again.

 Here’s Amanda’s unfortunate experience.

LabCorp Appointment Patient…I completely and utterly baffled by the chaotic nature that is LabCorp’s daily operations. 

1st visit: On the first visit, I arrived around 3:30 for a blood test and H Pylori breath test, only to be questioned with regards to the Doctor’s prescription as to whether or not I should have fasted. I called the doctor to confirm, and staff at LabCorp still insisted the doctor was wrong. Once they agreed to the blood test, they informed me it was too late to give me the solution for the H Pylori breath test, even though they knew I would be waiting 45 minutes for a phlebotomy technician.  I was frustrated that after having missed 3 hours of work, I was told I would need to return. 

Poor Service Center Employee AttitudeSecond visit: I went ahead and scheduled the H Pylori test for the following Friday, confirmed scheduled appointment online, and left work hours early yet again to make this appointment. As soon as I arrived, the staff behind the desk told me they did not have the H Pylori test kits and that I should have called. I immediately responded that if that lab was not equipped with the supplies necessary to fill all prescriptions, then they should have referred to their appointment list and called me. The lady responded that it was my fault, even after I told her that I made the appointment specifically for this test. She said she would NOT call me when they received the test kits.  She also went on to say that if she had to call me then they would have to call 15 to 20 people who want the same test. I calmly told her that if they were putting 15 to 20 people in a position to miss hours of work only to be turned away at the door because their LabCorp office is ill-equipped to handle the tests that it advertises if offers at any given time, then yes, the right thing to do is to contact people. I never received an apology for inconveniencing me, nor did she admit their fault. The lady behind the desk then threw a card at me and said to call next time (again, even though I had gone through the appointment process as a courtesy to them in the first place).

Why does LabCorp website collect information if that information is not dispersed to people who need to know it? Why are they collecting information that ultimately is not being used to better the day-to-day operations of the offices? Finally, why are these labs not equipped with the tools necessary to administer every test it is supposed to be capable of administering at all times? For instance, the lady behind the desk at my second visit mentioned that they had not had the H Pyblori kits all week.

Labcorp Treats Patients Like Cattle

Next Patient!

In a world with overnight shipping, no lab should be without test kits ever, let alone a full week.

If this were any other business, one not funded by managed health care providers that guarantee a high volume of revenue to LabCorp, I would be able to request my money back, speak to a manager, or be compensated in some way. Instead, we as patients are taken advantage of and treated like cattle and told to come back…because let’s face it, we have no other choice.

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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

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.

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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:

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.”

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