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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.

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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.

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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01 Aug 13 LabCorp Computer with Personal Patient Information is Stolen

LabCorp Computer Stolen

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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.

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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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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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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06 Sep 10 LabCorp’s False Positive HIV Mistake of Egg Donor

LabCorp’s false positive HIV mistake will have long-lasting impact on Jim’s life. Here’s the email he sent me:

LabCorp HIV Test Mistake Causes Loss of Egg DonorMy wife and I cannot not have children on our own. That was devastating when we found out and it changed the course of our lives. Having babies is free right? Should be easy, right? Or so I thought.

Now, we were searching for solutions. Regardless of the sad news of us not able to conceive, we decided on egg donation. The reason why is so that my wife and I can experience the beauty of the birth experience. We also wanted to experience the joy of watching as a baby emerge from her womb, crying for protection, then quieting down when being cradled in my arms.

None of that would happen now. We used the services of Dr. Aykut Bayrak at the Pacific Reproductive Center in Glendale, Ca.  When getting ready forEgg Donor Denied Because Labcorp HIV Test Error IVF the donor must go through a series of blood test, one of them is HIV.

We had selected our donor from a website. I wanted my wife to select someone who looked just like her. We found a beautiful young lady named Amber, who looked like my wife when she in her 20’s. We thought we could not lose with Amber because she was an experienced donor, whose contributions resulted in several infants. We were excited and confident.

Then Labcorb came into the picture. When Amber’s blood test was given to Lab Corp for HIV testing the result came back Egg Donor Fertilization‘positive’. At first we were shocked!  With a result of being HIV resulted her being automatically canceled as our donor. So what is the real problem here. SHE WAS NOT HIV POSITIVE! When she re-took the test it showed that she was HIV negative. We were relieved for Amber, but the Lab Corp result cost us a couple thousand of dollars for Amber’s tests, medicine, and care during this process. All for naught. Because of Federal rules that any donor who tests positive for HIV cannot donate their eggs, even if she test HIV negative later métronidazole sans ordonnance.

So we were forced to search for another donor. We found one whose eggs eventually failed to produce. Amber was the perfect donor since she was experienced and had proven results. The donor was someone not experienced. With the second donor we ‘ordered’ the Dr. Bayrak not to use Lab Corp. If he refused, we would have fired him on the spot and simply found another fertility clinic to work with. He complied and another lab was used.

The Lab Corp result may not have directly resulted in us not having children (so far), but three things for sure.

(1) We lost a perfectly good donor in Amber,

(2) We had to financially start over with the same test, medicine, and care for the new donor,

(3) It crushed our spirit.

I will be sure to request any lab professional I deal with, from my doctor or any social worker, that if Lab Corp is involved in their testing, we will simply walk away.

Jim

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27 Jun 10 LabCorp Mixes Up Patient Samples

LabCorp Mistakes Saliva SamplesLabCorp was blamed by genetic testing company 23andMe of mixing up samples of as many as 96 patients. According to 23andMe in a post on their community board, as a result of LabCorp mixing up patient saliva samples, patients “may have received and viewed data that was not their own”. They further posted that “Upon learning of the mix-ups, we immediately identified all customers potentially affected, notified them of the problem, and removed the data from their accounts.”

LabCorp “is now concurrently conducting an investigation and re-processing the samples of the affected customers,” 23andMe told its customers. As a result, 23andMe is “deliberating” …on… “completely automating the sample analysis, and implementing further checks of the data before it gets loaded into customer accounts.” Reading between the lines, it appears that the company no longer has faith in LabCorp’s test results. Based on my personal experiences and that of those posting on this site, LabCorp always claims to be investigating the matter when something goes wrong. I have yet to see something come out of any of their investigations and wonder if they’ll actually do something about it this time.

23andMe LabCorp Mistake Problem23andMe is a retail DNA testing service provider that is partially owned by Internet giant Google. They provide the patient a test kit. The patient then collects their own saliva samples and the company sends it to LabCorp for DNA testing. LabCorp provides the results to 23andMe who then provides the results to the patient through their website. They claim that they do not provide medical advice to their patients. 23andMe has recently and suddenly become a target of an investigation by Congress.  As a result, the company announced that it will soon begin providing genetic counseling to new and existing customers.

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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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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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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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