I am in my Self Payment Gap on my medical aid. I am pregnant. This is not a good combination.
It means that a few of my Dr appointments, blood tests and medicine bills have not been paid. I am paying them off as and when I can.
On Monday while standing in the OBGYN’s office I received a phone call from Lancet Laboratories. It went something like this:
LL: Is this Mrs Jacobson?
LL: This is Lancet Labs calling about your account.
Me: I know I owe you money, I will pay at the end of the month.
LL: Oh no Mrs Jacobson, Im calling to tell you that two amounts have been payed by medical aid.
She details the amounts…
Me: Oh my, you have just made my day. Can you please email me the statement so that I can have it for my records. My email address is XYZ.
LL: No problem, have a good day.
I received the email about half an hour later and waited to read it at home.
I opened the mail and the PDF and was rather taken aback that they had sent me Mrs Prinsloo’s statement, not mine. I was shocked further that the statement wasnt just debits and credits, it also details what tests Mrs prinsloo had had performed.
The next morning I tried to call Lancet. The phone went to a pre-recorded message along the lines of ‘please hold for the next available operator’ and then the line went dead. I tried a few times, same result. So I decided to respond to the email I received. It bounced back telling me the email address didnt exist…
So I found another email address, this one for the call centre. The following is the email I sent on Tuesday morning:
I received a phone call yesterday telling me that 2 of my accounts have been paid by medical aid. I asked for the statement to be sent to me for my records. Attached is the statement that was sent to me.
The statement is not mine. I am sure that Mrs Prinsloo would not be happy that you sent me her account by mistake!
Please clarify if my account is still outstanding and if there are any outstanding amounts please forward me the relevant statements.
Wednesday I did not receive a reply but I did get one this morning:
Thank you for your e-mail.
Please supply me with a lancet account ref number that starts with a X , Y or F
Lancet e-mail consultant
No telephone number to contact her on, no acknowledgment of the fact they sent me someone else’s confidential statement.
So this is what I sent back this morning:
I do not have an account reference number. I was called on Monday and told my accounts had been paid. I requested a copy of the statement so I had it for my records. I received Mrs Prinsloos’ statement…
I am deeply concerned that if I received Mrs Prinsloos’ statement, which details what tests she had done, then who may have received my statements with my confidential test details on it! It also concerns me that you have not addressed this issue in your response to me.
My full name is Gina-Natalie Jacobson, please try and trace my account using these details. Or call me on “123 456 7890” (the number I was originally called on on Monday!) and speak to me about this issue.
Right now I have absolutely no faith that this matter will be sorted out. I have no faith that they will do anything about the gross negligence that has taken place. What if I or Mrs Prinsloo had been for an HIV test or a test for cancer or… it really doesnt matter, they are all confidential! What if someone I know receives my statement instead of theirs?
Needless to say, I will no longer be using Lancet Labs for any of my blood tests, and I will be requesting that my doctors do not use them on my behalf.
I am now waiting for some kind of response from callcentre@lancet…
Will keep you updated!