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.
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.
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.
Tags: blood test, complaints, DynaCare, General Labcorp Stories, labcorp, labcorp general, Labcorp Lawsuit, LabCorp Mistakes, Labcorp Wrongdoings, laboratory Corporation of America, laboratory test, test results
I 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.
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:
In 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.
Tags: aetna insurance, labcorp, labcorp centers, LabCorp Employee Stories, LabCorp Employees, labcorp general, labcorp locations, northern california area, patient service center, phlebotomist, united healthcare
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.
Fortunately, 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!
Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp – New York Stock Exchange Symbol LH) recently reported an increase in fourth-quarter net earnings to $142.7 million, as compared to $118.1 million for the 4th quarter of 2008. The increase in earning were due partly to a gain of $21.5 million from resolving state tax issues and realizing foreign tax credits.
LabCorp’s total revenues for the fourth quarter rose to $1.17 billion, up from $1.12 billion the year before. For the full year, the company had profits of $543.3 million, up from earnings of $464.5 million in 2008. The increase also includes all the income from the labs that Labcorp has acquired.
Labcorp also announced that it will be spending $250 Million to buy back shares of their own stock. Labcorp’s Chairman and CEO David King said “ We remain optimistic about the growth opportunities that lie ahead for us in 2010, and we are well positioned to capitalize on them.” I highlight the word lie because while he was making the statement, he was filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that he had just sold shares of LabCorp stock and pocketed over $171,960 in profits. You would think that when the head of a company announces positive results and claims to be “optimistic about the growth opportunities” he would be buying stock, not selling it. But then he owns lots of LabCorp stock and could have sold for other reasons.
One thing that LabCorp CEO David P. King didn’t boast about is that of a rumored investigation of LabCorp by the US Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program. According to posts in CafePharma.com, LabCorp’s Florida operations are in trouble. They had to settle an employment lawsuit at a rumored cost of about $2.7 Million. In addition, they have a pending Federal lawsuit from a former employee that has not gone too well for them. With allegations of witness tampering and obstruction of justice, LabCorp has had to fire the law firm that was handling the case. The posts include the following:
OFCCP would like to hear from those who have been discriminated against based on a protected characteristic. (personal info removed) A formal recommendation has been made for an investigation of LCA Florida. Those who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, write:
US Department of Labor
Employment Standards Administration
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program
Charles E Bennett Federal Building
400 West Bay Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
SUBJECT: LABCORP CONDUCT IN FLORIDA.
All correspondence is confidential.
Tags: earnings, employment standards administration, florida operations, Labcorp Criminal, LabCorp Employees, LabCorp Executives, labcorp general, labcorp unethical, Labcorp Wrongdoings, laboratory Corporation of America, lawsuits, LH Stock, NYSE:LH, securities and exchange commission, us department of labor
Here’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.
Tags: blood samples lost, blood test, blood test lost, complaints, humana, illegal, insurance, labcorp, LabCorp Billing Stories, labcorp general, labcorp locations, LabCorp Stories, labcorp unethical, Labcorp Wrongdoings, Labcorp.com Billing, mistakes
Financial analysts in Wall Street have downgraded LabCorp (LH on the New York Stock Exchange), citing a slow down of testing volume growth and lower prices for their services. The analysts also expect a cut in Medicare payment rates and potentially weaker prices from health insurers. In addition, health care reform could lead to further rate cuts and eliminate the obscene profits that LabCorp makes on some of their niche lab tests.
Will the N1H1 Swine Flu help offset these factors? The answer is a flat out no. LabCorp won’t get much of a boost from a swine flu outbreak because flu testing is only a small part of its business.
Even though LabCorp is buying back their own shares, it may not be enough to maintain the share prices at their current levels. Laboratory Corp. of America announced that they will buy back up to $250 million of common stock under a repurchase plan approved by its directors. LabCorp purchased a total of $500 million worth of shares under its previous stock buy-back plan. About $95 million of those repurchases have taken place since the end of June.
With employee dissatisfaction, pending lawsuits and ongoing management problems, it looks like shares of Laboratory Corporation of America are heading down quickly. Some of the company’s insiders sold the shares ahead of the downgrades.
On 09/08/09 LANE WENDY E, a Director, sold 4,116 shares for $68.70 a share.
On 09/02/09 LANE WENDY E, sold 2,604 shares at $68.78 a share.
On 08/17/09 HARDISON DONALD M, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, sold 854 shares at $69.50 per share.
According to Yahoo Finance, during the past 6 months there have been no insider purchases and 5 insider sales. A total of 12,481 shares have been sold by insiders and a net 12,258,100 shares have been sold by institutions, after taking into account purchases by institutions. It seems that some of those who really know what is going on are selling.
Many 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.
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.
Tags: Bad Service Centers, billing, health care reform, insurance, LabCorp Billing Stories, LabCorp Employees, labcorp general, LabCorp Health Care, labcorp unethical, Labcorp.com Billing, laboratory Corporation of America
This is a recent article about LabCorp and their practices. The United States Food and Drug Administration believes that LabCorp’s testing “…may harm the public health.” Shame on you LabCorp for putting money before patient’s health.
The US Food and Drug Administration is looking more closely at an ovarian cancer test from Laboratory Corporation of America after deciding that the existing data did not support the test’s commercial use.The FDA Office of In Vitro Device Evaluation and Safety has asked Labcorp to discuss with the agency the utility of its OvaSure Yale test, after it learned that the performance characteristics of the test were based on research that is not representative of the intended pool of patients.In a letter to Labcorp dated August 7, OIVD Director Steve Gutman wrote that the scientific community would not view the study as sufficient to establish performance characteristics for high-risk women who may have ovarian cancer.“Based on our review of your promotional materials and the research,” Gutman wrote, “… we believe you are offering a high risk test that has not received adequate clinical validation, and may harm the public health.” Gutman told Labcorp that OIVD would like to talk to the company about offering the test, and any other strategies the company may have for validating the test.
This section is for everything else about LabCorp that is not covered in the other categories. Tell your story.