HICKSVILLE -- On March 3, 2011 I was seen by a private physician, who requested labs from Sunrise Medical Laboratories. Apparently, Sunrise billed my old health insurance carrier, BC/BS, for the lab services. My employer switched to an Aetna PPO effective January 1, 2009.
Sunrise, apparently, sent notices to my former address at. I moved from that town more than 2 years ago. I checked with my private physician and he has my current address insurance information on file. The office surmised that Sunrise may have taken the billing information from the computer in the specimen room that was not updated.
Sunrise subsequently sent my account to Paul Michael Associates, a collections agency located in Flushing, NY and the agency promptly submitted an adverse credit report to the credit bureaus. Upon receiving notice of the adverse credit report I called Paul Michael. The representative had no details and asked me to contact Sunrise Medical. She flatly refused to provide a contact number or the name of a person at the lab.
I located the contact number for the Sunrise Labs billing office in Hicksville and explained the issue to a female representative. She was extremely unhelpful and unsympathetic, blamed the physician's office for providing the incorrect billing information with the callous retort “you have to deal with the collections agency.” A second call to the Paul Michael and they again referred me to Sunrise Labs. Another call to Sunrise Labs and they sent me back to the collections agency.
Upon receipt of the standard denial from BC/BS that the service was provided after termination of the policy the usual and customary billing practice is to ascertain the correct insurance information. A routine call to North Shore would have shown that my insurance carrier has changed. But Sunrise acted with reckless disregard for my credit and simply handed my account to Paul Michael.
I provided my correct insurances to both Sunrise and Paul Michael on December 15, 2011. To date (4/2/12) my insurance has not been billed and my credit unresolved. I called Sunrise today and they referred me to the collections agency. The agency said that they sent the bill to Aetna. Aetna said that they never received the bill... And the issue is unresolved.
HICKSVILLE, NEW YORK -- If you don't have Health Insurance, don't agree to have any blood tests unless you know what the Medical Laboratories Fees are going to charge you,
because you will get one bill from your medical provider and another bill from the Laboratory.
My personal experience and hope this review will help to inform what is going on out in the medical field.
All I wanted was a simple Vitamin D Blood test. The blood specimen was drawn at a private medical walkin who then sends the specimen to a Private Lab for processing. Problem: You get a separate bill from the lab after the fact of them processing the test and not being informed of the cost with no health insurance.
To make a long story shorter, I received a bill from the lab for $339.00 plus the $25.00 specimen fee that was paid separately to the medical walkin. I felt this high fee was completely out of line and true they can charge whatever they want and get away with it. Upon investigation, I found a local lab by the name of Lab Corp that could have done the same test for $85.00 plus the $20.00 specimen fee. Total: $105.00
Where does Sunrise Medical Labortories located at: 250 Miller Place Hicksville, NY 11801 get off charging three times the amount.
I have sent Sunrise Medical Laboratories a good faith payment of $85.00. For some reason the $85.00 was accepted, but they refuse to waive the balance of $186.00 and have hired a collection agency to followup with me for collection. I did receive a courtesy discount of $67.80 for patients without Health Insurance which left a balance of $271.20 and I sent them a courtesy balance of $85.00 that left a balance of $186.00.
Problem with these private laboratories is that they are not regulated. These high fees that these labs charge for simple blood tests is the reason why we pay high health insurance premiums. The patients are being scammed and the health insurance providers are being scammed that pay these fees.
Don't let anyone compromise your patients rights on simple inexpensive blood tests when you have no health insurance. Due your due diligence before you get a high out of line lab fee from a greedy lab.