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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 02/01/2008

LifeWatch Services, Inc.

Phone: (847) 720-2100Fax: (847) 298-7004

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Customer Complaints Summary

19 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 5 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Billing / Collection Issues14
Problems with Product / Service5
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints19

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (19)
05/20/2015Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Lifewatch Services, Inc. began sending bills to my home for Holter monitor services (cardiac testing) which I never had performed. The dates and physicians listed on the bill are completely unknown to me and I am healthy with no need for these tests. I contacted the company to let them know of the error, and was told that they "probably had trouble locating the correct person with my same name and just looked up my address online." There are many people with my same name in Boston, so I suppose this makes sense although I can not imagine a company proceeding with such a lazy billing policy. The customer service representative I spoke with on the phone confirmed that all accounts linked to me were taken care of and I would not see any more bills. However, bills kept arriving, and now this account has been turned over to a Debt Collection agency. This is completely unacceptable that I would have my credit score affected by a mistake made by Lifewatch, who failed to correct it after I brought it to their attention. Certainly not actions befitting an A+ BBB rating.

Desired Settlement
resolution of this complaint

Business Response
LifeWatch Services is in receipt of the notification from consumer who will be identified as SC Case #XXXXXXXX. LifeWatch notified the appropriate internal groups and the investigation began on 04/02/2015. The Patient Advocate team immediately removed the patient from the collections activities. LifeWatch's enrollment services begins with a physician providing a prescription and enrollment form for his/her patient. The consumer's LifeWatch's demographics information was reviewed to confirm (name/address/date of birth/physician and enrollment requirements). The prescribing physician and medical office (account) was notified and it was noted that the information specifically the address that was originally sent to LifeWatch for a patient with the same name as the consumer SC did not match the address the office has on their physical patient file. LifeWatch does have processes in place to verify patient information but for this specific service request once the results were compiled and the report was sent to the physician's office, the office did not report that the address was incorrect or stated any issues. Our investigation has revealed that the physician's office provided an incorrect address which would mean a different patient for the physician's services and results. The investigation also revealed the LifeWatch was notified by consumer SC on 02/17/15 that she received bills but they were not for her. The person who took this call in the Patient Advocate department should have escalated it to their Supervisor or Manager at that time which was almost 2 months before the notification was sent by the BBB. The Patient Advocate department has been informed of this observation and has gone through an enhancement and a promotion of a Supervisor who assisted with this specific investigation. LifeWatch was also late with providing the BBB with the results of this investigation. It was an oversight and additional Regulatory and Quality staff members has been made aware of how to follow up on requests and responding to BBB via email and phone.
LifeWatch has updated our files to reflect the correction of the true patient's address per the physician's office and a statement was sent to the consumer SC on or around 04/02/15. All of these actions were reviewed and confirmed by myself. In addition, LifeWatch is in the process of revising processes to resolve receiving incorrect addresses from physicians. Please accept this investigation as complete and close the complaint case. Best regards.

**** ********
LifeWatch Compliance Manager
************


Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)

03/19/2015Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
My cardiologist had me wear a Holter Monitor for a couple of days. My Primary Care doctor had me wear a Holter Monitor in March of 2013. There was no charge of any kind for this from my Primary Care doctor. Had to pay a $25.00 co-pay for my cardiologist. This Holter Monitor was put on 11/07/2013. On 12/07/2013 I received a invoice from my cardiologist's office for $20.00 for Holter Monitor Analysis co-pay. When the Holter Monitor was put on me, nothing was said about a charge. I paid this co-pay. On 2/18/2015 I received a invoice from LifeWatch for $20.00 co-pay. I had not heard of this company and was not told of this co-pay. I called my cardiologist's office on 2/18/2015 and asked about this charge. This is the second charge I didn't know about. I was told to call ********* my Medicare Advantage company for that year. Called ******** that day and spoke to ***** ** . He checked and told me he thought I paid what was required. He said he could call LifeWatch and put me on hold for about 25 minutes. It seemed he didn't get anywhere with LifeWatch. He said I should call LifeWatch and explain I was not told of any charge. I called LifeWatch that day and was told I had to pay $20.00 and that they had up to 5 years to bill customers. I said I didn't know I was a customer. I was told 3 times they had up to 5 years to bill customers. Is this 5 years, some kind of law? Doesn't seem smart to wait this long to bill someone 73 years old. Still I didn't know about all these charges. Earlier that year, when I had to wear a Holter Monitor from my Primary Care doctor, there was no charge. I wasn't told about all of these charges in 11/2013. Why would a company wait almost 16 months to send a invoice? Account # XXXXXXX from LifeWatch.

Desired Settlement
They should cancel this $20.00 charge I was never told about or agreed to. How could this even be important to LifeWatch, when they wait about 16 months to send out a invoice?

Business Response
The claim was filed accordingly to the patients insurance on 11/13/2013. The claim was processed on 11/20/2013 to allow $34.86 making a primary payment of $14.56 and and applying $20.00 towards the member liability. The processing by the insurance was explained to the patient and to a rep from ***** on 02/18/2015. The patient then complained of already making a payment of their copay to their doctors office so it was explained to the patient that we are a separate billing provider that rendered the technical component for the service that was ordered by their physician. Due to the patient allegations and confusion I will approve to w/o the remaining balance.

03/10/2014Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
We received a notice from ******* ******* Group, a collection agency, indicating we ow $203 for a charge attributed to LifeWatch Services Inc., a company that provides medical monitoring equipment. The account number listed is *******. The Reference # is ********. The notice from ******* indicates this is a charge that goes back to Feb. 4, 2013. I recall being treated for a possible heart murmur, and provided with a monitor for 1 month. I assumed any charges were paid by my health insurance. I don't recall ever receiving a statement from Lifewatch informing us of this charge.
We have phoned *******, but have not received a response.

Desired Settlement
We would like verification of this charge from Lifewatch, in the form of a statement. If this is a legitimate charge, we will be happy to pay it. However, we want ******* to remove any reference to this from all credit reporting agencies so our credit is not affected.

Business Response
Date: March 07, 2014

Dear BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois:

LifeWatch Services, Inc. acknowledges receipt of an email notification for complaint case XXXXXXXX, from patient ******* ******. ******* ****** reported that he received a notice from ******* ******* Group, a collection agency, indicating that he owes $203 for a charge attributed to LifeWatch Services Inc., a company that provides medical monitoring equipment. Account number listed is: XXXXXXX while the reference number is: XXXXXXXX. The notice from ******* indicates that this charge goes back to February 04, 2013. Patient recalls being treated for a possible heart murmur, and was provided with a monitor for 1 month. Patient assumed any charges were paid by his health insurance. Patient does not recall ever receiving a statement from LifeWatch informing them of this charge and has phoned ******* but have not received a response. Patient would like verification of this charge from LifeWatch, in the form of a statement. If this is a legitimate charge, he will be happy to pay it. However, he would like ******* to remove any reference to this from all credit reporting agencies so their credit is not affected.

Patient ******* ****** was enrolled on LifeWatch Monitoring Service on 02-04-2013. The enrollment information came from the patient's physician Dr. ***** *******
A review of the patient's monitoring records revealed that Mr. ****** should not have received a bill and the notice from ******* ******* Group was an error.
The claim was adjusted and a collection notice was retracted from ******* ******* Group on 03/04/14.
We have confirmed that the patient can ignore the bill and attached is a zero balance patient invoice as proof.

LifeWatch humbly apologizes for this error and any inconvenience that this may have caused. The required corrections were immediately made to Mr. ******'s patient monitoring account and file. A balance is not owed to LifeWatch. Please communicate the error to Mr. ****** and we hope this matter will be considered as resolved.



**** ********
Director of Quality and Regulatory
LifeWatch Services, Inc.
email: *********@LifeWatch.com
Office: (XXX) XXX-XXXX


Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
The response is explained clearly and reports that the company's conclusion is consistent with mine. Thank you for this timely and complete resolution of my complaint.

02/28/2014Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Doctor had me use a heart monitor for a week starting 12/17/3 provided by lifewatch. Dr. gave me instructions to put the monitor in a pre-paid postal bag once my monitoring was completed so the monitor would be returned to Lifewatch. I followed the return instructions. On 1/13/14 I received a bill which was labled Final Notice charging me for the cost of the monitor and claiming I had not returned the monitor. It also said that if I had returned the monitor to disregard the bill. On 2/5/14 I received notice from a collection agency stating that I had been turned over to them for collection of the charges. I have contacted Lifewatch Inc. and they are reviewing the account but could not tell me if they had received the unit or not. What kind of business practice sends a final notice 30 days after service and turns you over to a collection agency 45 days after service, much less charge me for a device I returned per their instructions. My account number with Lifewatch is XXXXXXX. The account numbers from the collection agency ***** & ****** Inc. are XXXXXXX for $115.00 and XXXXXXX for $1630.00. My insurance has provided me an EOB which showes that Lifewatch charged $4500.00 for medical care and that they paid Lifewatch $956.00 since the charges exceeded the allowance. EOB shows I owe Lifewatch $0.

Desired Settlement
I would like Lifewatch, Inc to recend the charges, stop collection activities and ensure that there is no reporting to credit bureaus.

Business Response
Date: February 27, 2014

Dear BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois:

LifeWatch Services, Inc. acknowledges receipt of an email notification for complaint case XXXXXXXX, consumer ***** *****. Patient is questioning as to what kind of business practice sends a final notice 30 days after service and turns you over to a collection agency 45 days after service, much less charge him for a device he returned per their instructions ($115.00 and $1630.00). His insurance has provided him an end of business (EOB) which shows that LifeWatch charged $4500.00 for medical care and that they paid LifeWatch $956.00 since the charges exceeded the allowance. End of bill (EOB) shows he owes LifeWatch $0. He wants LifeWatch to recend the charges, stop collection activities and ensure that there is no reporting to credit bureaus.

Please be assured that at LifeWatch, we utilize a formal process for addressing these types of situations in order to continually improve the quality of the services we provide. The process we follow includes a formal and detailed investigation to document all of the facts surrounding the issue. Our goal is to uncover the root of the problem, not to simply address isolated incidents. To immediately address the issue at hand with Mr. *****'s service, we conducted an investigation with our internal Logistics and Billing Teams as well as our device retrieval collection agency company Biel and Biel which revealed the following:

Patient ***** ***** was enrolled on LifeWatch Monitoring Service XX-XX-XXXX through 12-23-2013.
A reminder letter to return the devices was mailed to the patient on 01-02-2014. Per LifeWatch protocol this is 10 days after the patient's End of Service (EOS).
A final letter/bill was mailed out on 01-12-2014. Per protocol this is 20 days after EOS.
The patient's file was sent to our collections agency Biel and Biel on 01-27-2014 with the cost of the unreturned sensor and cell phone (Sensor $1630 and Cellphone price $115) included because the devices were not in LifeWatch's possession. Per protocol this is 35 days after EOS.
Although Mr. ***** mentioned the amount of the insurance medical covers and what LifeWatch charges for the monitoring service, those charges are not associated with the charges that are assessed when devices are not returned to LifeWatch.
As of 02/27/14, the devices have not been received yet. Per the UPS online tracking application, ******************* (assigned to the devices) still shows in transit and the last location was at local USPS office on12-31-2013.
The LifeWatch UPS representative has been notified of this discrepancy and asked to follow up with USPS and UPS to locate the device.
Mr. ***** has been removed from collection activities with **** and ***** **** and **** does not report to credit bureau.
The devices were moved to lost status within the LifeWatch logistics system. All notes have been added under device memo.
The billing investigation revealed that there is no issue. Mr. ***** was legally billed appropriately for his monitoring service; the insurance covered the whole allowed amount of $956. The patient's balance is in fact $0.



Mr. ***** was placed on the device retrieval/collection list because the devices that he wore during his monitoring service were not received by LifeWatch and proper protocol was followed in the attempt to retrieve the devices. LifeWatch has removed Mr. ***** from further collection activities, no charges will be assessed and the collection agency does not report to the credit bureaus. LifeWatch will work with *** to locate our intellectual property. We apologize for any inconvenience that Mr. ***** had to endure and we realize that this issue has nothing to do with Mr. *****. We hope this matter will be considered as resolved.


**** ********
Director of Quality and Regulatory
LifeWatch Services, Inc.
email: *********@LifeWatch.com
Office: (XXX) XXX-XXXX


Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
Even though I have been cleared of any charges pertaining to this matter it does not dismiss the fact that I have had to spend a large amount of time dealing with this matter. You can clearly see that Lifewatch was able to check the tracking number and see that it was at the UPS office on 12/31/13 which was clearly within the 10 day EOS they referred to. If they had checked the return status via their tracking number, which was provided with the return bag that I placed the unit in, before sending me letters and turning me over to a collection agency they would have clearly seen that I had fulfilled my obligation. Further more, Lifewatch Sercices cleared me of charges due to the intervention of my doctor also. What is to prevent Lifewatch Services from continuing a bully like process for collection when they are not even responsible enough to check their own resources before threatening the customer.In closing, yes they did meet my requests to resolve the issue but what about the next customer that has to spend valuable time dealing with this type of practice and what about the customer that just pays the bill out of fear of their threats when the customer really is not responsible.

06/10/2014Problems with Product / Service
Page 1 of 2
06/22/2015Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Re.: Account # XXXXXXX

LifeWatch has refused to bill my insurance co., and instead continues to bill me for $40.00. LifeWatch states that they cannot bill an insurance co. with which they have no contract. I confirmed with my insurance that if LifeWatch bills them, they will pay the $40.00. Unfortunately, my insurance does not allow me to submit my own claim for reimbursement, and LifeWatch has not responded to requests from my insurance for billing information.

Desired Settlement
I wish for LifeWatch to bill my insurance co., get paid $40.00, and mail me a final statement showing a zero balance.

Business Response
The consumer was a recipient of LifeWatch Holter monitoring services on 01/23/2015. I have reviewed the consumer's patient service and billing files and have determined the following:

* The patient's insurance carrier does not have a contract with LifeWatch. (LifeWatch cannot bill the insurance carrier).

* Per the LifeWatch policy the patient was offered to complete a form to document billing issues.

* There are a total of 30 phone calls and notes in the consumer's files from 02/04/2015 and 04/20/15 regarding the billing explanations between the consumer, insurance carrier and LifeWatch all in the effort to resolve this issue.

* On 04/20/15 the consumer's file was updated with the following note: On 04/20/2015, Lifewatch w/o (wrote off) the remaining balance of 40.00 for 15MC and the patient is not being held liable for the charges.

* On 05/21/15 per the BBB letter regarding the consumer's complaint was forward to the Reimbursement/Billing department.

* On 05/21/15, a retrospective review of the consumer's files revealed the following and notes were added: On 04/20/2015 Lifewatch w/o (wrote off) the remaining balance of 40.00 for 15MC and the patient is not being held liable for the charges.

Although the patient stated that the desired resolution was for LifeWatch to bill my insurance co., get paid $40.00 and mail me a final statement showing a zero balance, I have reviewed the consumer's file and have confirmed that a balance is not pending for the consumer (see below).

As previously stated LifeWatch cannot bill the insurance company and has written off the $40.00 the consumer was responsible for.

Thank you for allowing LifeWatch to respond to this issue. Per the investigation above, the consumer does not owe a balance. We are confident that you will inform the consumer of our investigation results and in addition, I will send a letter and include my contact information.

Best regards

**** ********



11/10/2014Problems with Product / Service
10/13/2014Billing / Collection Issues
09/19/2014Billing / Collection Issues
08/22/2014Billing / Collection Issues
Page 1 of 3

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