Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp) has been hit by a class action lawsuit that alleges the company is overcharging patients for diagnostic tests, claiming that LabCorp fees exceed fair market rates established for these tests.

The suit alleges that LabCorp maintains two different fee schedules, one for people with insurance and another for uninsured people. Those with insurance are charged the market rate while those without insurance pay a premium.

On behalf of a larger class, several individuals claim that LabCorp sends patients invoices that are “intentionally deceptive and misleading,” and that combine charges for multiple tests so that patients are not aware of any insurance payments or discounts that have been applied to individual tests. The LabCorp invoices also make it difficult for patients to understand what they are required to pay as a deductible or co-pay for each test, according to the complaint.

In addition, the suit claims that LabCorp does not inform patients whether their insurer covers any of the tests. The complaint alleges that LabCorp’s billing practices put certain patients at an unreasonable disadvantage since, unlike insurance companies, they are unable to negotiate rates with LabCorp.

The suit seeks compensation for any overpayments as well as punitive damages. It also asks the court to issue an order prohibiting LabCorp from engaging in any future improper billing practices set out in the complaint.

A similar class action lawsuit has also been filed against Quest Diagnostics Inc., alleging that this company also engaged in deceptive billing practices that led certain patients to be overcharged for lab tests.

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