LifeWatch — Missing events and auto triggers, poor billing, terrible customer service.
My experience with LifeWatch was pretty good IF I were to evaluate it based on the equipment alone, it functioned well and was comfortable, no complaints there. The service though, is quite another story!
My first contact with them took place after I was wearing the monitor for about 2 days. I had a problem with the monitor not connecting to the phone. I called tech support and the woman was rude and did not help at all. I caulked it up to one bad apple or someone having a bad day, and figured out how to fix the problem myself.
Then, about halfway through the monitoring period (in Feb. of this year) I received the bill which had me listed as self pay and had my name misspelled. The next day, I sent the bottom half of the bill back as it instructed with my name spelled correctly and a front and back copy of my insurance card. Over the next month I was sent 3 more bills still with the same misspelling and self pay status. I contacted the billing department via email as the bill instructed, to inquire about this problem. I sent messages, 1-2 a week for about a month until I finally got an answer. I was told that the misspelling of my name was why they could not verify my insurance and NOW that they have the proper spelling they will process it and send me a new bill that reflects my coverage. It has been over 2 weeks and I still have not received the new statement nor a response to my latest inquiry on if it has been submitted.
But that isn't the worst of it! They also did not accurately log my events! I received a copy of the report that LifeWatch sent to my doctor. The report has 51 recored events. I'm sure I triggered it over 100 times but I realize my count could be wrong, however I was able to count at least 12 events that were specifically missing based on the activities I entered and a few where I entered the symptoms but closed out before entering an activity and some other specifics. It was also missing all the auto triggers. It was my understanding that the device would auto trigger for heart rate over 150bpm and under 40bpm, 2nd or 3rd degree blocks, pauses over 3 seconds and some other perimeters that are not relevant to my situation. During the period my rate was well over 150bpm (usually around 160-175) near daily when I was running and it never set off an event. Also, my pulse did drop below 45bpm while awake quite a few times (asymptomatically) a while before I triggered an event for other reasons which tells me that surely my pulse dropped under 40bpm while sleeping (it did when I had the 24 hour holter done). Also, I did trigger an event where heart block was present which leads me to wonder how many times that was missed by auto trigger.
I contacted the company through the "contact us" section on their website about these issues, the first time being in the second week of March. I sent them a detailed list of the exact events that were missing and my concerns about the lack of auto triggers. After a week with no response I sent it again and again the following week. The 3rd week I sent a shorter message asking if they received my messages about the missing events. I got a reply that day saying only that "all the events are there". He clearly did not read the first message with the details. I replied to his direct email with the long form message with all the details and got no response. The next week I sent it to him again, and again to the company "contact us" section hoping anyone would reply. I have been sending it weekly since then with no response.
The problems (pauses and pulses syncope) that I was put on the monitor for in the first place are still occurring but due to the incomplete information my doctor received from LifeWatch he does not think there is a problem. I had no syncopal episodes during the monitoring period that I know of but they can happen during sleep as well which is why the auto-trigger was so important.
Thanks to LifeWatch, I have no where else to turn with this problem. The doctor says I'm fine and now insurance won't cover further testing. Now all I can do is hope LifeWatch contacts me with the rest of the events and auto-triggers or just keep hoping that every time I pass out my heart will continue to start again.