"Lab Briefs"

LifeLabs, Gamma-Dynacare, Sonic Healthcare, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital

LIFELABS QUEBEC TO BE ACQUIRED BY GAMMA-DYNACARE

LAST WEEK, IT WAS ANNOUNCED that Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories had signed a definitive agreement with LifeLabs Limited Partnership to purchase LifeLabs Quebec. Both parties expect the transaction to close by April 28, 2012.

This laboratory acquisition is notable for at least three reasons. First, it involves Canada’s two primary national laboratory companies, which are LifeLabs, Inc., based in Toronto, Ontario; and Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories, located in Brampton, Ontario.

Second, Dynacare Laboratories, is a division of Laboratory Corporation of America. Dynacare is a majority shareholder in Gamma-Dynacare. Thus, the willingness of LabCorp to approve the acquisition may indicate it continues to consider the lab testing market in Canada to be financially viable.

Third, this is the second lab recently acquired by Gamma-Dynacare in Quebec. It was last December when Gamma-Dynacare purchased Warnex Medical Laboratory, a lab company based in Laval, Quebec, and serving the Montreal and Quebec City metropolitan areas.

SONIC HEALTHCARE REPORTS GROWTH IN ITS U.S. LAB DIVISION

WITH SIZABLE MEDICAL LABORATORY TESTING BUSINESSES on three continents, Sonic Healthcare, Ltd., offers a unique way to compare the lab test markets across different nations.

Sonic recently reported its earnings for the first six months of its current fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2012. For the six-month period ending December 31, 2011, Sonic’s revenue reached US$1.8 billion. This represented growth of 11.8% over the same six months of the prior year.

Lab testing makes up 79% of the company’s revenue, with radiology and medical centers comprising the balance, at 12% and 9%, respectively. For its clinical laboratory and pathology revenue, Sonic announced the following for constant currency revenue and percentage of total business (in U.S dollars):

  • Australia $513 million / 30%
  • United States $428 million / 23%
  • Europe $432 million / 24%
  • New Zealand $37 / million 2%

Independent of laboratory acquisitions in the United States during 2011, Sonic disclosed that organic growth in the United States was 2%. By contrast, Sonic said that organic growth in its European laboratory division was 6% during the first six months of its current fiscal year.

Because of its laboratory acquisitions and sales development programs, Sonic Healthcare’s lab testing business in the United States now generates in excess of $850 million in annual revenue.

STUDY DETERMINES PHYSICIANS WHO USE DATA EXCHANGES ORDER FEWER LABORATORY TESTS

PHYSICIANS WHO USE A HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE (HIE) and can access a patient’s prior test results tend to order fewer laboratory tests than physicians who don’t have HIE access. This is the finding of a recently-published study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study was conducted using data from 117,606 outpatients who were seen at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2004. It was 2000 when the two hospitals established their HIE.

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