"Lab Industry Briefs"

Bio-Reference Labs, Tenet Healthcare, IMPATH

BIO-REFERENCE LABS QUIETLY IMPROVING LAB INFORMATION CAPABILITY

LABORATORY INFORMATION is the strategic business plan driver at Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. of Elmwood Park, New Jersey. The company has begun to install an information management system throughout its laboratory organization.

“Introducing this software gives us an ideal solution for managing information, i.e., reports, statements, invoices, and any documents that originate as host-generated data,” said Mark Grodman, M.D., President and CEO at Bio-Reference.

Dr. Grodman’s vision is an integrated hardware/software capability that captures data through scanning and direct entry, then makes it available to any operational process within the laboratory. Internet access by clinicians to their patient’s lab data is one goal of this initiative. Bio-Reference Labs is publicly-traded. It reported 1998 revenue of $46 mil- lion. It primarily serves the tri-state area of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

TENET TO SELL UP TO 20 OF ITS 129 HOSPITALS

On February 12, company executives at Tenet Healthcare Corp. told financial analysts that it may sell as many as 20 of its 129 hospitals. These would be hospitals which did not fit the company’s “major-market” strategy.

Without providing a specific list, Tenet disclosed that it is interested in selling hospitals which fit into two categories: 1) they are not part of a network; or 2) they are not essential to an existing network. It would appear that Tenet is applying the 80/20 Rule (Pareto’s Law) to its hospital management strategy. The 80/20 Rule says that, in any distribution of things, a small number (20%) will have a disproportionate impact (80%) on the total.

By corollary, 80% of the distribution has only 20% of the impact. Tenet is apparently interested in selling 20 of the hospitals which fall in this category. These are the hospitals which have virtually little or no impact on the company’s major volume of business. By divesting these hospitals, Tenet’s management team can spend more time boosting the performance of Tenet’s best hospitals. This is good management leadership. It means that Tenet is willing to “cull” those hospitals which contribute little or no profit and absorb disproportional amounts of management time and company resources.

IMPATH’S REVENUES CLIMB 52% IN 1998

DURING 1998, IMPATH, Inc. saw revenues and profits grow by 52% and 90%, respectively! It finished the year with $56.3 million in sales and $6.9 million in net income.

Profiled in THE DARK REPORT on February 2, 1999, IMPATH demonstrates how anatomic pathology services, when properly bundled and professionally marketed, represents a booming growth opportunity. The company provides services organized around “difficult to diagnose” cancer. Its primary customers are pathologists working in community hospitals of 100-500 beds.

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