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

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There are many complaints about employees in LabCorp locations throughout the country mistreating patients. Deb sent me an email about her unfortunate encouter in LabCorp’s Arlington Virginia Location. What one would expect to be a 5 minute event turned into an hour ordeal. Why? Just because they can. Management in these LabCorp locations does not seem to care about patient satisfaction. After all, LabCorp is the low-price leader to HMOs and insurance companies. Who needs to treat people with the respect that they deserve when you get them through pricing practices. While I find Laboratory Corporation of America employees who treat patients this way revolting, it’s really managements fault. The supervisors do not seem to care and just push for production. Patients will complain as Deb did about the Arlington VA location, but management does nothing about it.

I went to LabCorp in Arlington VA last Saturday am in the middle of a snowstorm that was getting worse by the minute. All I had to do was drop off a specimen, and I informed them of that the minute I walked in. After two more interruptions by me asking why I couldn’t just drop it off, they finally took it from me – an hour after I walked in the door. So, I sat for an hour in a waiting room filled with sick people (and I am not sick), while 8 inches of snow was falling and the roads getting worse by the minute, and they couldn’t be bothered to take a plastic bag of test tubes from me. They weren’t even apologetic. I think I would have been there another hour if I hadn’t finally thrown a huge FIT at the desk.

I wrote an email complaining to them about this, but you know they won’t even respond to it. They are a terrible company.

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04 Jan 10 LabCorp Test Mistakes HTLV Virus

LabCorp MistakesI received this email from Joan in New York who was misdiagnosed as having the HTLV virus by LabCorp. LabCorp mistakes, like this one, cause thousands of dollars in additional tests and devastate the lives of those misdiagnosed. Sadly, LabCorp may have mixed her blood samples with someone elses or could have had a bad reading because of tired, overworked Laboratory technicians. We’ll never know why Laboratory Corporation of America made this mistake, but I can guarantee you that it’s not the first nor will it be the last.

Here’s what Joan had to say:

Labcorp original blood work returned a positive result for HTLV, Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus.  If you can imagine, I was devastated.  The last two weeks have been awful. This virus is much like HIV;  it’s sexually transmitted, and transmitted through needle sharing and blood transfusions. My doctor also communicated there was no cure. 

I could not imagine where I would have contracted such a disease, but I have been feeling weak and tired, and assumed it was true.   My family and I have been devastated.

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My doctor does not trust Labcorp, but since Labcorp is the only approved lab with United Health Care, (shame on United Health Care) he ordered a second test.  In the meantime, he has sent me to numerous other MRI appointments and the like looking for tumors, all at the cost of my insurance company.  Last night, I got the results and the second test was negative for HTLV.  I am grateful that I don’t have HTLV, [if I can trust their second test]; but I wonder if there is someone else out there who does… and does not know. I question Labcorp’s  laboratory process and wonder if they got the blood mixed up otc viagra substitutes. Is it possible that there is a person out there who is positive for HTLV and is unknowingly spreading this death sentence virus to others?  Labcorp is incompetent.

I agree with you… Labcorp sucks!

Joan

New York, NY

HTLV Virus ProgressionHere’s information about this dreadful disease and how devastating it is. Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-I) causes adult T-cell leukemia in about 2.5% of those persons infected with the virus. The time between acquiring the infection with HTLV-1 and developing disease is thought to be 30-50 years. HTLV-1 also can cause a neurological disease called HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis in about 5% of those infected. This is an illness that affects the spinal cord and white matter of the central nervous system. Manifestations include difficulty walking and weakness and stiffness of the lower extremities more than the upper extremities. Bowel and bladder control may be lost. A number of other disorders have been associated with HTLV-1 including inflammation of the joints or eyes. HTLV-I is endemic in Japan, the Caribbean, New Guinea and parts of Central Africa. Prevalence is highest in southwest Japan. It is not common in the United States.

Human T-lymphotropic virus type 2 (HTLV-II) may cause neurodegenerative disease such as myelopathy, and it may be associated with hematological malignancies but the association between the virus and these diseases is weak. The virus is endemic in Native Americans in South, Central, and North America.

Enzyme immunoassay screening of serum, with confirmation by type specific western blot, immunofluorescent assay or polymerase chain reaction can be used to determine carrier status and help in confirmation of either HTLV-I or HTLV-II disease. Specific pathological conditions must be present for disease diagnosis.

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27 Sep 09 LabCorp Billing Patients More Than Allowed

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

He would like to hear from you if:

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

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

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

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

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

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20 Sep 09 LabCorp Downgraded by Financial Analysts

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.

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26 Jul 09 LabCorp Claims to be Making Lots of Money for Stock Holders

LabCorp Stock Making MoneyLabCorp (Laboratory Corporation of America) said it earned $136.4 million, or $1.24 per share, during the second quarter of 2009, up from $104.2 million, or 92 cents per share, during the same period in 2008.

Excluding restructuring charges, earnings per share were $1.30, compared to $1.24 last year. That’s an almost 5% increase in earnings.

Laboratory Corporation of America, whose NYSE symbol is LH, said its testing volumes rose 2.4 percent from the second quarter of last year, and revenues were $1.19 billion, an increase of 3.6 percent from the same period a year ago.

With about $1.2 billing in revenue for the quarter, LabCorp is making lots of money for their shareholders. But is it at the expense of patients? Is it by sacrificing quality of care? According to patient complaints on this site, it’s a very real possibility. Has Laboratory Corporation of America forgotten that it’s the patients that matter, and not just the insurance companies and third party payers?

When a company grows quickly, it tends to lose its competitive advantage by losing some control over its operation. Incompetent managers take control and run matters their own way, without regards to core company values. In most cases the senior managers see this happening and take immediate action to eliminate the bad apples. The decisions are made by senior managers who have the foresight to see their company succeed in the long-term, not just the short-term. In my personal opinion, LabCorp senior managers have not taken the necessary actions needed to get rid of those lower level managers who will eventually lead to the demise of such a fast growing company. It’s a common story in the health care industry. Remember Integrated Health Services, Coastal Physician Group and Coach? They all had big short-term growth but in the end did not succeed.

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18 Jul 09 LabCorp Denies Services to Heart Attack Patient Over Old $7 Debt

Labcorp Handwritten Note on DebtMany may have already heard about LabCorp’s bold move in denying services to a heart attack patient over an old debt of $7, but I just want to make sure that everyone hears about this incident. Below is the article by Donna Smith, the patient’s wife. She rightfully denounced Laboratory Corporation of America’s practice of disallowing services when “their” computer shows that an old debt was not paid, even if you have insurance and your insurance company may have made an error or did not pay the amount that Laboratory Corporation of America believed was due. Bottom line is that even with insurance, LabCorp will deny services to patients who they believe owe them money from prior services. Here is the note from LabCorp’s front desk that was given to Mr. Smith when he was denied services. You can click on it to get a bigger image.

OK, if this wasn’t personal enough just yet for me, it just got a whole lot more so. And if you think for one instant that in this nation at this point in history and with this popularly elected President and Democratic Congress you will be treated for a heart attack simply because you might die if you are not treated, think again. And if you think having insurance helps, think some more.

On Friday, my husband was denied a blood test because a computer record from some distant time past and some other state showed he had a $7 balance with LabCorp. I am not making this up.

My husband had a heart attack this week. He woke up one morning sweating profusely and with a heart rate dropping. I watched his color turn first ruddy then ashen, and then he felt as though he was going to pass out. He would not allow me to call 911 as he slowly began to feel sick to his stomach and he believed his symptoms were digestive rather than cardiac.

We have learned over the years to wait to seek care – it is expensive to do otherwise and dooms us to the endless loop of bills and collection notices and more damage to our already badly bruised credit rating. So we always wait to seek care until there seems to be no other option. We are not alone. Millions of Americans do the same. We do not want to use the emergency rooms or doctors’ offices. We don’t want anything to do with the whole mess.

We moved to Maryland in March, but have fought Humana insurance and Medicare transfer since then to even make sure my husband can get any care at all. And, by God, we were paying the premiums the whole time the insurance folks hemmed and hawed and stalled. It took three months to get that all straightened out, during which time they repeated over and over, “we’re not denying treatment,” and technically I suppose they weren’t as they want us all just to get out our checkbooks and debit cards and pay up. And in the meantime, my husband waited for any doctors’ appointment and got meds by calling back to Chicago to get prescriptions refilled.

My husband is a cardiac patient and a vascular patient with a complicated medical history and needs follow-up care on a regular basis. He is a responsible guy who has always maintained his insurance coverage and who avoids seeking care unless it is needed. He does not seek to overuse or abuse the system. To stay relatively healthy, he needs regular check-ups and decent intervention when necessary.

But, I insisted my husband follow up in the way we all are told is more sensible and cost effective. He went to a primary care doc on Wednesday who shuffled him off to a cardiologist after a visit barely long enough to be billed as an “extended, new patient visit.” An EKG showed the grim reality. “Abnormal, negative T-waves. Inferior infarct.”

Blood work was ordered in advance of the cardiologist visit set for Friday. He was to fast overnight, see the cardiologist and then get his blood drawn. Seems to be progressing, eh?

Well, only until he sat down in the LabCorp office to get his blood drawn. The LabCorp employee typed in my husband’s Social Security Number, and promptly told him he could not have his blood drawn or have his test administered until he cleared up his old bill with LabCorp. The bill? $7. That’s right — $7.

And my husband has been covered by insurance for many years. But now he sat – post myocardial infarction or heart attack – being told by a laboratory employee that he would be denied care due to an unpaid $7 bill. He did not have $7 with him. He was fasting. He tried to explain. They did not budge. They did call the supervisor. She confirmed and stood her ground for LabCorp. No test for Larry Smith. He owes $7.

David King, the CEO of LabCorp, made $8.2 million in 2008. He’s one of the people and LabCorp is one of the companies President Obama is celebrating who will help transform our nation’s healthcare system. Indeed. And LabCorp’s political participation committee donated funds to several candidates in 2008, including Sen. Max Baucus and Sen. Charles Grassley, both of the Senate Finance Committee that is working on the nation’s healthcare reform.

Lest we think the insurance giants are the only people hurting, harming and killing Americans like my husband as they shore up their profits, follow the money in this story alone. One doctor’s office, another doctor’s office, one insurance company and finally a lab – all worked together to make what they could individually off my husband and then ultimately denied his care for $7. Everybody got their bite of the apple and then left him in the dust as they moved on to the next source of revenue, oops, I mean the next patient continue reading.

Where do we stand today? Still no blood work drawn. Waiting for next week to see what we can do to set the tests and exams the cardiologist ordered before she got busy with another patient. Did my husband return to the doctor’s office to tell them what happened and ask for their help? Yes. And he said not one person, not one, would reach into their pockets and give him the $7 or pick up the phone and try to help him resolve this. So what was his life worth? $7.

We’ll get the tests done somehow. But the point is, we’ll have to fight for it. And his heart will be stressed more and so on and so on and so on. This is the travesty of healthcare in this nation. And this Congress and this President are so damned concerned with their own political futures they cannot even see this reality for the rest of us. I am so angry.

And don’t tell me that a single payer – publicly funded and privately delivered system — wouldn’t stop heart attack patients from being denied care due to old debts of $7. It’s the only system that could stop that sort of abuse.

The LabCorp supervisor who denied Larry Smith’s test on Friday, June 26, in Elkridge, Maryland, is named Shirley Smith (no relation to Larry) at LabCorp’s Maryland office: 410-365-1264.

Donna Smith is a substantial supporter of the Democrat Party so in all fairness, LabCorp attorneys and management were also contributors to Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and many Democrat Senators and Members of the House of Representatives who are working on health care reform legislation. LabCorp is now trying to convince these same elected officials into making laws that benefit the company. According to Huffington Post, 7 identifiable LabCorp employees contributed to Republicans while 14 contributed to Democrats.

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12 Jul 09 At Laboratory Corporation of America Some Things Never Change

About a year ago this web site was launched as a result of incidents in LabCorp’s Miami, Florida facilities. Before it was launched I had a conversation with Laboratory Corporation of America’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Don Hardison. He seemed genuine and acknowledged that Laboratory Corporation of America had many operational problems. He stated that he was fairly new to the company but intended to fix all of them. I believed him.

After a year it looks like Don Hardison has not fixed LabCorp’s problems. I recently contacted the Miami division’s office and was informed that the regional director is still Bob Blanco, and that the Patient Service Center director is still Ana Garcia. I would have thought that after all the damage that these two have caused Laboratory Corporation of America, they would have been terminated. How can you fix a problem when the people creating the problems are at the helm? These two managers outright lied to me, and used the old “lie about them before they tell the truth about you” technique to get away with their incompetence.

Don Hardison COO of LabCorpThe fact that Don Hardison did not fire these two incompetent employees after my complaints makes me believe that he is not as genuine as he first made me believe. He talks the talk but he has not walked the walk. So I now ask, would the real Don Hardison please stand up? The Miami region’s customer service is probably worse than it was a year ago (according to comments on this site). This web site seems to get substantially more complaints about the company and its service centers than before. So what has Don Hardison fixed? All I see is the mask coming off and the real Don Hardison coming out. Just another Laboratory Corporation of America manager covering for the incompetence of those below him. It’s the “If they look good then you look like you are doing your job” philosophy. Forget reality.

In reference to the LabCorp Sucks web site, I intended to pull the plug once these two employees were fired for their actions. Their dismissal by Hardison would have shown that he, and  LabCorp, really mean what they say and that they intend to clean up the company and focus on customer service. That has not happened so this site is still up. Not to sound negative, I think that LabCorp Sucks will be around for a while.

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19 Apr 09 Lab Error on Blood Test

Making a lab error on a blood test can have a serious impact on a life. I don’t know if LabCorp employees don’t care, or if they are simply numb to the impact of their lab errors because they rapidly run through so many blood tests. This is part of their “quantity is more important than quality” problem.

I received this email from Natasha today. I don’t know what I would do if this LabCorp lab error occurred during a blood test on my child. It is devastating news that no one should have to endure as a result of a lab error.

Angelman Syndrome - Click for Large Image

Angelman Syndrome - Click for Large Image

LabCorp diagnosed my son with a rare genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome by a Methylation blood work test. This syndrome is characterized with mental retardation, lack of speech, and seizures just to name a few symptoms. Our family was devastated, and we grieved for months.

When he got in to see a neurologist, he ordered another test to get more information about which type of the syndrome he may have. This test came back negative. We were shocked, but tried not to get our hopes up too high because we did not know which test was accurate. When we finally got in to see the geneticist, he ordered another round of genetic testing, this time a more detailed test called a cgh, as well as the original test. All negative.

LabCorp told the genetic counselor that they think they switched his blood. For privacy reasons they wont tell us anything, but assured her that they would try and find the child who really has this condition. As relieved as we were to have the good news, we are so angry for this mix up happening in the first place. Months and months of our lives were taken from us, and I still have not received one phone call from Lab Corp. We are unsure how to proceed from here. Anyway, this is an EXTREMELY abbreviated version of the story. Please let me know if you would like more information, I will do anything to help, no family should go through what we experienced.

My recommendation to Natasha is that she find a lawyer and sue LabCorp for punitive damages. A blood test lab error of this magnitude should be sufficient grounds for a lawsuit. One that I am sure LabCorp would settle quickly before the news quickly spreads and their testing service loses even more credibility.

The days between getting LabCorp’s lab results and finding out about LabCorp’s error were probably Natasha’s worst days of her life. No health services provider has the right to do  this to anyone. It’s obvious that Laboratory Corporation of America understands money, so they should pay for their mistake. In addition, government regulators should step in so that this never happens again.

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15 Sep 08 United Health Care Has a Lot to Learn

I thought that United Health Care wore a white hat, but I guess I was wrong and that they only canceled the contract with LabCorp in the South Florida region. Unfortunately it does not look like they canceled their contracts in other parts of the USA. United Health Care will learn, but only after they continue to lose patients and HMO members. Here’s an email I received from another “former” Labcorp patient.

Hi,

I see that you have United Healhcare on your “good guys” list.   I’m not sure if you are aware, but as far as Verizon Business for United Healthcare (40,000+ employees) is concerned, Lab Corp is the only lab we are allowed to go to that is covered.  I am not sure if other companies that use United are allowed to use other labs, but we got a letter in March of ’08 that they were dropping Quest in favor of LabCorp.

Here is a letter I sent to HR this morning:

I would like to go on record to state my displeasure with Verizon/United Healthcare using LabCorp as the new lab of choice for blood work.   LabCorp is a cheap, cut rate operation staffed by nothing but a mean, discourteous and unprofessional staff.   I have had to use LabCorp three times this year and each time has been an unpleasant experience.  LabCorp establishments are understaffed and both of the doctors that send me there complain that the results take over a week to get, as opposed to 24 hours with Quest Diagnostics.  They state that they often need to call LabCorp to request the results, while patients who use Quest will have a fax with the results delivered the next business day.

Any money that Verizon Business/United Healthcare is saving by switching from Quest to LabCorp is certainly not worth the anguish that it is putting employees and customers through by forcing them to go there instead of Quest.

Thanks for your site.  I Googled “labcorp sucks” and was pleased to find your site!

NAME WITHHELD

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21 Aug 08 Can Google and LabCorp do this?

Here’s something really interesting. A few weeks ago LabCorp employees started posting comments on this site in support and defense of the company and employees. Shortly thereafter, www.labcorpsucks.com almost dissappeared from the Google search results. There does not appear to be a reasonable explanation for this to happen, as this site has lots of visits from dissatisfied LabCorp patients and is still highly ranked in Yahoo and MSN. I just saw an article in the Medical Quack Blog that may provide some answers (or at least raise some suspicion). It is about the business relationship between Google and LabCorp. I would not put it past LabCorp executives to ask Google to punish this website, but it is hard for me to believe that Google would actually play along with LabCorp and lower the search value of a website based on their own economic interests.

Last month several Genomics companies received warning letters from the State of California and were told they needed to be licensed.  23andMe, which is an offshoot of Google may have a potential solution on the dilemma of the licensing issue with working with LabCorp,  one of the largest labs in the US. 

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Although 23andMe is keeping mum on which contract laboratory it is using to conduct its DTC genomic testing services, GenomeWeb Daily News has learned that Laboratory Corporation of America is providing the necessary genotyping services for the personal genomics company. “I can confirm that we are doing lab work for 23andMe,” Eric Lindblom, LabCorp’s senior vice president for investor and media relations, told GWDN.

…You can also read more about the National Genetics Institute, a subsidiary of LabCorp. LabCorp already has a pretty large stake invested in the genomics business.

Lindblom also noted that LabCorp is CLIA licensed in California and New York, the two states that recently warned 23andMe, along with several other personal genomics firms, to stop marketing genetic tests directly to consumers. One of the reasons cited by regulators was that the consumer genomics firms were not licensed in these states to provide laboratory services.

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