Don’t reach for Life Line screenings — 14 Comments

  1. I was so happy to finally find a site where I can post a warning about Life Line screening. In my opinion, they are a money-making scam. Try to find a company phone number where you can call to be taken off the list, for example. Once they get your name, you’ll continue to get regular mailings from them. I no longer open those–mark refused, return to sender.
    Life Line uses fear to keep bringing patients back. In my case–bone density. Yet my REAL bone density test was so good my physician told me he didn’t think I’d never need another one.
    Another time, they sent me another patient’s test information.
    DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY on LIFE LINE. it’s not a lifeline, it’s a NOOSE. Use a physician or nurse practitioner you trust instead to determine what medical tests you actually need.

  2. Thanks frugal nurse. I worked for them and they toss the blood components in regular garbage. Scary, right?

  3. Life Line is also committing a deep fraud. You pay your $149 for tests NOT covered my Medicare; but they bill Medicare for $149 for you WELLNESS check-up, when there isn’t one. In fact, what my mother just went through is just plain fraud. The ABI test wasn’t standard, she never one had her blood pressure checked yet the results came back telling her how to control high blood pressure. When she went for her annual Wellness check with her physician, she gave them the screening results–the doctor just laughed. Her blood pressure hasn’t been above 117/72 for her entire life. Her cholesterol is on the higher side but hereditary and she has never been directed to take anything for it. She is 88 and unbelievably healthy. So without doing a blood test and never taking any blood pressure how could these tests even be valid? What bothers me the most is the deception. This is how they approached my mother (any many others, just read the BBB complaints) oh, we have time another test today, it’s completely free. So my mom took it. She spent 15 minutes in a room with a nurse practitioner asking questions. Nothing more. Well, they billed Medicare for $149 for her Wellness checkup which wasn’t a Wellness checkup at all. And when my mom went for her real checkup with a doctor, Medicare wouldn’t cover it. So she called Medicare to ask why it was denied, they told her LifeLine had billed them for $149 for Wellness checkup. The lady asked my mother if she wanted to file a fraud complaint. She wasn’t sure. When she came out to visit me and told me what was going on, the conversations she had with a John Becker at LifeLine I was livid. They had a 3-way conference call with Medicare and this guy told the patient accounts/insurance specialist to just file it again – he told her to do it twice. And she said, NO, that is fraud. He laughed and said send it in, they’ll pay it. So, this is the kind of company you are dealing with. Also, for all of you thinking well any kind of advance prevention is good, I agree, but since their testing is limited, and I think somewhat substandard, you actually may be getting fraudulent testing all the way around, outside of the fact they are robbing you twice, and the government. What a great scam they have going on. How sad, don’t fall for it.

    • Oh, I forgot one really major thing. On the original form my mother signed for her tests, she did NOT check the Medicare box because there was no need to, Medicare didn’t cover these tests. Well, after he conversation with Mr,. Becker they sent her a copy of that original form–but the nurse, a Ms. Melissa Squires, FNP, check the box and wrote in the date (my mother missed that) and wrote next to my mother the word self. They cannot do this. You cannot fill in any part of a medical form that the patient is supposed to fill out. That is brazen fraud. And I know why, after my mom agreed to the extra free test, Ms. Squires went back and checked the Medicare box so they could submit a Wellness checkup and get their complete $149 back. FRAUD, all the way around this company stinks. And the real stupidity – on the bill receipt to my mother’s credit card, the Wellness didn’t show up as part of her testing that day. Now that is fraud.

  4. I appreciate your taking the time to write such a thoughtful, detailed blog. I received this offer in the mail, and after Googling and finding your article, I will do just as you suggested–toss it in the garbage.

  5. Medicare does allow for a one time AAA screening, which is appropriate. Abdominal aortic aneurysms are a silent killer and ultrasound does not carry any risks. Screening exams for carotid and peripheral vascular disease are not necessary for the majority of the population. If your doctor hears a carotid “bruit” he will send you for a formal exam. If you have claudication, your doctor can send you for a formal arterial exam. The lifeline company will tell the consumer that they need to be followed for minimal plaque and that simply is not true. I feel it is unethical to cause these older patients stress and worry so they can get them to come in once a year to be followed for minimal vascular disease that isn’t going to cause them any life threatening problems.

  6. Thanks, Frugal Nurse for your posts. I spent $249.00 on these screenings. Had the 5 screenings and 3 more on the up-sell. None of my doctors seemed excited when I submitted the reports; and after reading your comments, I now know why. They read it and filed it. I won’t be going back. It was a horrible experience!! Tests took only minutes to do. My appointment was 11:15 a.m.; they guaranteed I’d be out by 1:30 p.m. As I waited with about 100 people in the gymnasium of a church, we all watched as they let in more people with appointments; as many as the room would hold. I was one who didn’t “walk out” incomplete and I went home at 5:15 p.m. It’s definitely a unique “for profit business.” Other than my blood pressure being high (which might have been caused by a 36 hour fast), there were no other problems. There’s got to be another way.

    • Wow. Thanks for sharing your experience. There are useful screening tests–when used on the right people at the right time. But many screening tests, even the good ones, are being overused at this time. What are we to do? Be informed as much as possible. I listed some good resources in the comment below this one. But also know your family history; that can determine which screening tests might be most appropriate for you. And ask lots of questions or do some research before getting any screening test–What does the test look for? Are you at greater risk than the general population? At what age should the test be started? How often should it be done? Does the test frequently result in false positives or false negatives? There is no perfect solution, but working with your primary care provider is the best way to go. Thanks again for your comment. FN

    • Hi Ray, nice to hear from you. Yes, there is too much screening being done by mainstream health care already–we certainly don’t need an additional for-profit only company selling more. Best, FN