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Lincare / extremely poor service

Glens Falls, NY, United States Review updated:

I am fed up with the poor service of this medical company. I have a condition that is life-threatening without the use of the breathing machine they provide, but even with calling and calling (at least 10 times) and driving over an hour to go and sit down with them and try to work out the issue which was causing them to provide such negligent customer service, I filled out the form they sent home with me (for the THIRD time) and that was two and a half months ago! Haven't heard hide nor hair from them since. I have no idea what to do. Where do I go for help and service?? Can anyone give me any advice about where I go from here? I am so frustrated and cannot use my machine without the proper service! I have gone without using it for almost 3 weeks now.

It
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Comments

  • Am
      8th of May, 2010

    I'm a Lincare center manager, and I'm a little frustrated by the complaints and misrepresentations that I've found here. Regarding the complaint shown above, the patient doesn't make clear what his life threatening condition is, so I can't tell if the "breathing machine" that he's referring to is a nebulizer, cpap machine, or oxygen concentrator. Knowing which it is would be helpful because insurance companies and Medicare are VERY particular about what conditions a person must have in order to cover (i.e. pay Lincare for) any of these units. This person may have been given a piece of equipment that his insurer declined coverage on, meaning Lincare didn't get paid. That means that the patient would have been responsible for paying for the unit himself or returning it. He obviously believes that he needs the "breathing machine" and wants to continue using it. Did he keep it but refuse to pay his portion of the bill (his co-pay)? Was he unable to pay for it? He stated that he filled out a form that they sent him home with, three times! If they gave him a form to fill out, there was a good reason for it. It could have been a hardship form. Patients who have no insurance or who can't afford their co-pays can fill one out to provide evidence of their inability to pay. Because Lincare deals with Medicare, it can't legally waive a patient's portion of a bill without having researched whether the patient, in fact, can't afford to pay for an item. I can tell you from experience that patients will often fill out this form but provide insufficient detail for Lincare to justifiably waive the patient's bill, so it could go back to the patient for more detail. Or the form will reveal that the patient COULD pay for the item but is choosing not to (cable t.v., internet, or some other luxury gets paid instead of Lincare who is providing the "life saving" device). In the 2nd scenario, Lincare will justifiably deny the waiver and will ask the patient to pay their co-pay. So, was it hardship form this person filled out? If so, did he not provide sufficient info for Lincare to support waiving his bill? Did it show that he could pay his bill? We don't know. Another possibility that this patient was prescribed a cpap device for sleep apnea. Many patients will call that a "breathing machine." Insurance guidelines for the prescribing of this equipment have been tightened severely in the past year or so (tightened exponentially if the patient is a Medicare patient). So, let's say a doctor prescribes a unit for a patient and the patient is insured by Medicare and gets set up with the unit. If the patient doesn't use the equipment enough in the 3 months following the set up, Medicare will stop paying for the unit. I've had it happen where the patient didn't use the equipment enough to satisfy Medicare's requirements, so Medicare stopped paying for the equipment. The patient was then faced with a choice, return the equipment or start paying for it himself. The patient didn't want to return the unit, but didn't want to pay for it either... Anyway, it's late and I've responded to 2 of these complaints that I thought were unfair. I need to call it a night, so let me end with saying that there are 2 sides to every story; and Lincare is not in the business of making ANY patient call 10 times or drive an hour out of their way just to get service. There have to be some important details missing from this patient's complaint. If we knew more, I'm sure that we would find a very good reason as to why this person is playing a waiting game.

    0 Votes
  • Gr
      8th of Jun, 2010

    I have experienced poor customer service from Lincare on numerous occasions, especially when I scheduled oxygen delivery when I travel. Last September when I flew to Washington state, I requested oxygen( concentrator and tanks) delivery the required two weeks in advance. My family member was unable to bring a supply of oxygen to the airport for me. This year when I have traveled to Texas, Waco and San Antonio, my oxygen has not been at my destination when I arrived. I am considering some type of legal recourse and have begun to document each incident. I want to hear experiences of others since this seem to be a widespread problem.
    [protected]@comcast.net

    0 Votes
  • Rm
      6th of Dec, 2010

    It is difficulat at best to deal with seriously ill patients, but this manager is right. Details are missing and they are running a business. Without payments and reimbursement they cannot provide service. That said, there is no reason not to respond even if with a negative response. The root of this issue seems to be one of the patient treating this supplier as some sort of social service agency, assuming service will be provided without proper payment, documentation and reimbursement. No business can operate profitably that way.
    To ALL patients not happy with their supplier, get all the details first before you assume the supplier is wrong. Missing a delivery or delaying repairs often can be controlled by the patient being more vigilant and assisting the supplier with good information. Working together will always get better results.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
      9th of Dec, 2010

    see the text abovee

    0 Votes
  • Ca
      9th of Dec, 2010

    oxygen is lighter than air so it accumulates at the ceiling but
    there is a hole in the ceiling so it would go on up into the
    attic space. That would be a serious fire hazard so how can
    I get it cleaned out ?

    0 Votes
  • Ra
      8th of Jul, 2011

    Well I'm a Lincare employee and I can assure you that at least in my office we do everything we can to help our patients. Some people are just inpatient and don't want to wait. I also understand that depending on the situation there is time that it should not wait but, there is also times when is not an emergency but people want it done right away. People need to understand that there is a process for everything and rules and procedures to follow. Not every case is the same and there is different positions to ask for when nothing is being done to help a patient. A caller will first talk to a Costumer Service Rep (CSR), if you can not get what you need from them you should ask for a manager, if unable to or they denied you to speak to them ask for their area manager and last but not least you may also ask for the phone number to our corporate office located in Clearwater Florida.

    0 Votes
  • Fr
      12th of Jan, 2015

    I have had similar negative experience obtaining supplies for my cpap machine, and when my supplies wear out, it is very difficult to sleep properly. Although it is not immediately life threatening, the whole reason to cope with this uncomfortable head gear is to prevent heart damage which ultimately is life threatening. I am not on Medicare, but I have good private insurance, and I have always paid my co-pay. Lincare has confirmed several times that I am eligible for certain supplies monthly, quarterly and semi-annually. But in the six months since I first completed paperwork (and there was a lot of paperwork presented to me on two or three occasions when I went to their Queensbury office trying to resolve this), I have only received one call from the supply center, even though they are supposed to call me monthly. At the beginning, I called the supply center, but they told me I had to speak with the Queensbury office. The Queensbury office has always been pleasant (the nurses are terrific), but they tell me that the delivery system is up to the supply center. The last time I had difficulty, the Queensbury office called the supply center on my behalf and 7 days later I am still waiting for the supplies that would have been delivered three weeks ago if their monthly system had not failed. The Queensbury office acknowledged that there have been problems with the supply system, blaming it on the complicated process and approvals required. I can understand that if the insurance companies are refusing payment, but I have been more than compliant with the usage rules and my insurance company has not refused coverage. The problem appears to lie with Lincare's supply delivery system and corporate management should be looking into this.

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  • Ma
      12th of Oct, 2015

    I got rid of Linecare for my oxygen supples and went with a different company, that was back in July of this year...here it is October and they still haven't picked up their equipment...I have called them twice I won't call again.Their stuff is in my garage and will soon be moved to the street! Linecare office in Urbandale Iowa needs to get on the ball and get their equipment out of my garage!

    0 Votes

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