KSL INVESTIGATES

Sticker Shock: Woman calls KSL Investigators after blood lab bill skyrockets

Nov 18, 2021, 2:53 PM | Updated: Nov 19, 2021, 10:51 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Annual doctor visits mean blood work — but how closely do you look at your bill? 

Barbara Cramer of Salt Lake said she went for her routine checkup, expecting her blood work to cost about $20, about as much as years past.  

Instead, she got sticker shock.  

The lab that processed her blood work charged her $1,377.84. Cramer said she went to her files and found a price sheet from the lab her doctor referred her to in 2019.  

She discovered some of the charges were exponentially higher just a year later.  

“A complete blood panel test was $124,” Cramer explained. “On here, it’s $3,” referring to the 2019 price list.  

Cramer said she asked the hospital, Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, multiple times to explain the higher costs, but said the hospital could never answer her questions.  

KSL TV reached out to Salt Lake Regional’s parent company, Steward Health Care, on Cramer’s behalf. In a statement, their spokesperson told us they appreciated Cramer reaching out and ultimately held a meeting with her, where they “explained and clarified their billing procedure.”  

We asked why there was such a large price discrepancy, but Steward’s spokesperson told us “we won’t be commenting further.”  

Cramer was happy to comment further.  

She explained that after our emails to Steward, eight hospital executives sat down with her around a conference table to explain that “costs are higher at a hospital lab than at a free-standing lab.” It was then relayed to her that her doctor was not in a cost-sharing agreement with the lab to which she was referred.  

Cramer suggested the hospital put up a sign warning people about the inflated prices at the hospital lab. 

She said those present “finally agreed that they should post a sign saying that prices could be higher there and to let the phlebotomist know if you want the blood sent to a different place.”  

Cramer said the hospital apologized for blowing off her earlier complaints and decided to waive her entire bill.  

As for the bad customer service, the hospital spokesperson told KSL TV they “have spoken to the employees involved in this uncommon departure from our high standards to reduce the possibility of similar incidents reoccurring in the future.”  


Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

KSL Investigators help bank customer regain access to his money after fraud incident

KSL Investigators help a fraud victim gain access to his bank account after nearly a year of being locked out.
3 days ago
...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

What are the rules for airline travel credits?

After canceling a beach vacation to Hawaii, a Utah woman believes she has $1,400 in flight credits. Ongoing flight cancellations have plagued the summer travel season, and a lot of travelers are being made whole with flight credits rather than refunds.
4 days ago
FILE PHOTO - Shown are a smartphone and computer....
Matt Gephardt

Can a company pull the rebate runaround?

When a West Valley City woman took up Verizon on a rebate offer to upgrade but could not get the rebate, she contacted the KSL Investigators for help.
10 days ago
FILE PHOTO...
Daniella Rivera

KSL Investigates: How is Utah’s new self-defense law impacting justice?

Is a new Utah self-defense law improving our justice system or leading to unintended consequences? The KSL Investigators analyzed a full year of cases.
11 days ago
...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Utah home sellers drop asking prices as market slows from a frenzied pace

For years, Utah has been one of the nation's hottest real estate markets, but now it appears to be cooling as sellers are slashing prices.
11 days ago
FILE (Getty Images)...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Gephardt Busts Inflation: How you can save money by switching from one of the big three wireless carriers to an MVNO

We have all heard of the big guys of wireless networks - Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. But many smaller carriers use the same infrastructure as the big three and for you that means you can get the service you need for much less by switching to one of the other guys.
14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Sticker Shock: Woman calls KSL Investigators after blood lab bill skyrockets