LabCorp Sucks
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Laboratory Corporation of America – Tell Your Story and File a Complaint
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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.

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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.

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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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06 May 10 LabCorp Baltimore

Janice from Baltimore sent me an email about her experiences at LabCorp. No complaints, just sympathy for all who have had problems with other LabCorp locations.

LabCorp BaltimoreFortunately, I have not had your extreme problems with LabCorp in Baltimore. They are my health insurance carrier’s choice, over which I have no control. I’ve read your story, and it is pitiful that LabCorp gets away with that. I just wanted to point out that you are a “glutton” for punishment. Gluten is something Alton Brown talks about frequently on “Good Eats” with regard to baking. Sorry you’ve had such a miserable time with LabCorp, and glad your blood tests finally came back with good news. Carry on!

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25 Apr 10 Your Blood Test Results at LabCorp

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.

Feel free to post this complaint about Labcorp on your website:

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

Labcorp Blood Test Results and the Hipaa Law 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.

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31 Mar 10 Urine Tests at LabCorp Suck

Mike sent me an email with his LabCorp complaint and even included pictures. He went to LabCorp for tests, and one of them required him to provide urine samples. He had the urine tests but as you’ll read below, it was somewhat disgusting. After a long wait his doctor finally received the results from LabCorp and gave him an appointment for tomorrow. Hope the results are favorable for him. Here’s his email

 I went to Labcorp for routine medical tests today at 1217 East Ave, Sarasota.   When I arrived there were several elderly patients arguing with confrontational Labcorp employees that they had provided urine samples while the staff insisted that they had not. One elderly man stated that he witnessed his sample being stolen. 

LabCorp Urine Test - Bathroom FloorWhen my turn came, my blood was drawn and I was handed a cup and a plastic lid that looked like a paper coffee cup. It had my name written on it with pen, no number.  I was told to go into a bathroom. The bathroom was filthy and there were numerous puddles and spots of urine on the floor, the counters, the sinks. LabCorp Urine Test - Bathroom Sink

There were also several rings of urine left by previous cups on the counter. It was apparent that the urine was from numerous persons.   I was not given an alcohol wipe or instructed to wipe my hands. The woman scolded me for handing her the cup and told me to leave it on the dirty counter. I told her the bathroom was filthy and she said someone cleans it later. LabCorp Urine Test - Bathroom Sink Piss Rings

The employees there were morbidly obese, confrontational, rude, and appeared to have a limited intellect.   I am 50 years old and have utilized the health system in several states, Mexico, Central America and South America. I have never witnessed such a bizarre situation and unsanitary conditions in a health care facility.  This facility is below third world standards and I do not feel comfortable with the integrity of any results.   Mike

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08 Mar 10 LabCorp Under Investigating by the U.S. Department of Labor

Department Of Labor Compalint Against LabCorpThe United States Department of Labor is investigating Labcorp for not being in compliance with their affirmative action plan and for discriminating against certain sectors of the population. In a recent letter received by LabCorp Sucks from a former employee, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs requested that their Jacksonville, Florida office consider the allegations made by the former employee when conducting future compliance evaluations of Laboratory Corporation of America.

If Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) is found to not be in compliance and fails to correct the problems, they can be sanctioned and could even be restricted from participating in the Medicaid and Medicare program, two major income sources for the Laboratory company. LabCorp can also be prohibited from participating in other government programs, including the CHAMPUS program (The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services) that provides laboratory services to government employees, and to Veterans Administration program beneficiaries. LabCorp currently contracts with all these government programs to provide reference laboratory services to program participants. Since many HMOs that serve the beneficiaries of these federal programs also contract with LabCorp, the HMOs would also be restricted from using LabCorp. The loss in business could be in the hundreds of millions and could be catastrophic to LabCorp stock (NYSE: LH).

LabCorp’s discrimination problems have been well known to company insiders. The company has various lawsuits pending and has had to settle others by paying out millions. In a recent Florida case, LabCorp even had to fire the law firm representing them after accusations of obstruction of justice by the firm.

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06 Mar 10 LabCorp Technicians are Not Properly Trained

LabCorp Managers and SupervisorsSusan sent me an email that I find interesting. It’s an experience that many current and former LabCorp patients have lived through. It goes to the root of the problem, that the supervisors and managers at LabCorp, in my opinion, are some of the worst in the industry. I can’t blame the technicians, phlebotomists and clerks for their actions when the managers and supervisors fail to properly train them or even call to their attention their wrongdoings.

As many LabCorp employees have stated in this site “forget qualifications, if you kiss butt at LabCorp you move up.” In my personal case when I complained to Bob Blanco, the district manager, he insulted me and called me a liar. The director of patient services, Ana Garcia, also insulted me and said I was lying. This is how these bad managers cover their incompetence. If the employees are not doing their job appropriately, the managers are responsible. By supervisors closing their eyes to reality and making believe that everything is good, they believe that they did their job. The worst part is that the company executives believe them and instead of firing them, promote them. I predict that this fantasy land scenario will bring this company down, regardless of how much money they sucker out of Wall Street.

LabCorp Drawing BloodI am very bad with computers and didn’t see where to post my own story,  but I have quite a tale that you can file with whomever you wish.  I would title it “Lab Corp technicians are not fully trained to a competent level.”  I sent a similar story to Lab Corp a while back and called our insurance company,  BC/CS of NJ Directly this morning.

On January 22, 2010,  I had a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) done at a Lab Corp.  The technician told me I was scheduled to have a one hour GTT and directed me to drink the sugar water.  Startled, I asked if they didn’t need to take a base line blood evaluation ahead.  He said no, so I drank it.  Fifteen minutes later a worker came rushing into the waiting room and said I needed to take a base line test IMMEDIATELY.  The same now nervous tech took 3 tries getting my blood.  Admitting I should have had the test prior to drinking,  he also told me that I had only drunk 2/3 the amount of glucose required for that test,  therefore guaranteeing me false results.

LabCorp Patient and StressFor the next 45 minutes  I shivered on the table unable to get warm (shock?).  I’ve had cancer and mono and so don’t take such tests lightly.  During that time  I heard my tech giving instructions  on “how to do it” to yet another tech that was administering another GTT in a different room!

For the final blood drawing my tech tied the rubber tubing so tight around my arm that I yelled.  He loosened it,  but I had fairly continuous tingling in my hand for the next 5 or 6 days, and still do on occasion weeks later.  Yet a new symptom and worst,  when I went to get off the table  I couldn’t walk.  More than 5 weeks later I still have trouble walking.  I pointed out to the insurance company this morning that they have spent an exorbitant amount on me for this mistaken test.  I have been to emergency and specialists’ rooms fairly continuously since then.  Indeed,  I spent the night before last in the hospital under observation;  the reason being that I could not stand at all.

I told our insurance company I was making a complaint about Lab Corp and “suggested” that they do one of two things.  Either they should not have Lab Corps as their only covered lab or that they pressure the company to adequately train their technicians before releasing them to commit mayhem.  Weeks ago  I had written to Lab Corp that I didn’t feel that the technicians are the responsible parties when I see TWO at such a loss.  I blame the company!

I was motivated to call this morning since I need yet another blood test tomorrow to find out why my legs keep collapsing.  I dread another visit to Lab Corp!

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05 Feb 10 LabCorp Locations in Arlington Virginia

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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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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