Life Line Screening issues refunds after misinterpretation

Life Line Screening issues refunds to husband, wife

Q: My wife and I both had Life Line Screening sessions on Feb. 10 as a preventive measure for our overall health. My wife's results were reported as normal, but mine were not.

My results showed possible concern for the arterial health in my left ankle. The brachial index was reported to be zero. The screening results summary said "primary care consultation recommended."

I sent a copy of the screening results summary to my physician, and his response was that there was probably an error as a zero reading would mean my foot was not there, or dead. Nonetheless, my physician scheduled me for an examination, which revealed that I did indeed have a pulse in my left ankle.

To allay my apprehension, he referred me to a specialist who found both ankles to be relatively good for a 71-year-old man.

It is indisputable that an inexcusable error was made in my examination and Life Line's physician's review. The zero reading should have been regarded at the very least as an error in the application of the ankle attachments and testing.

The testing for my wife and me amounted to $270, plus $20 copay for my follow-up. I question my cash outlay as being far less than a dollar's value for a dollar spent and perhaps without any value whatsoever, considering the trauma this ill-read test caused.

Edward M. Blau

A: Joelle Reizes, communications director for Life Line Screening, agreed that a reading of zero on this test is abnormal and cause for concern. This reading indicates a level of arterial stiffness, she said.

"Unfortunately, his doctor misinterpreted the meaning of the zero reading as an absence of a pulse. This is a misunderstanding of the screening and its purpose," Reizes said. You had a pulse, but due to the stiffness a systolic pressure was not attainable. Happily, your follow-up diagnostic tests showed adequate blood flow to the legs, with no significant arterial blockage.

Reizes said although Life Line Screening stands by its screenings and the quality of its services, she apologized for the delayed response to your first inquiry. She agreed that your concerns could have been alleviated if Life Line had been quicker to communicate.

Terri Burdette, a clinical manager for the company, did attempt to contact you by phone several times, but was unable to reach you personally, according to Reizes. She didn't know you wanted a written response, but e-mailed you once she found this out.

General manager Tom Phillips, also contacted you about your complaint. He confirmed that Life Line Screening issued a $135 refund in June when he first learned of your concerns. Since receiving the detailed complaint from Action, Life Line Screening has also issued an additional $135 for your wife's screening as well as $20 for your follow-up copayment. The refund will be applied to your credit card.

Reizes said that Life Line services is the largest provider of preventive screenings in the United States and have been in operation since 1993. Its goal is "for each and every customer to have a positive experience when they attend a Life Line Screening event."

Life Line Screening issues refunds after misinterpretation 08/05/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 12:48am]

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