April 6, 2009 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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Effective May, 1, 2009, Laboratory Corporation of America will no longer be a contract provider for Regence BlueShield, head-quartered in Seattle, Washington.  Regence notified physicians that it was ending its relationship with LabCorp “as a result of rising costs of care provided in our markets and LabCorp’s refusal to accept market level reimbursement. …Regence is committed to maintaining our laboratory network service at an affordable cost.” This network change shows that health insurers are still willing to disrupt the contract status quo in their region to achieve the combination of pricing and value added laboratory testing services that advance their interests.

MORE ON: Regence

Regence BlueShield is the largest health insurer in Washington, with 840,000 beneficiaries. Thus, LabCorp loses network status for an important payer in the Pacific Northwest.

CLARIENT LINES UP NEW INVESTOR IN A $50 MILLION DEAL

On March 26, 2009, Clarient, Inc., of Aliso Viejo, California, announced a private convertible preferred stock placement with Oak Partners. Totaling $50 million, Oak Partners has already funded $29.1 million and will fund an additional $10.9 million by June 26. Clarient is using this new capital to “retire Clarient’s existing debt obligations, pay transaction expenses, and provide working capital.” Clarient has experienced steady growth in revenue and specimen volume over the past three years. It describes itself as an “anatomic pathology and molecular testing services resource.” Clarient ended fiscal 2008 with revenue of $73.7 million. That was an increase of 71.8% over 2007 revenue of $43.0 million.

TRANSITIONS

  • Steve Gutman, M.D., has taken a position as Professor of Pathology at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. He was formerly Director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics (OIVD) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After many years of service, Gutman left the agency earlier this year.
  • Don St. Pierre is now the Acting Director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics at the FDA. He has served in the OIVD office for more than seven years.

Dark Daily Update

dark_daily_logoHave you caught the latest e-briefings from DARK Daily? If so, then you’d know about…

…why pathologists will soon be saying “sayonara” to glass slides as use of digital pathology images becomes widespread and more groups acquire digital pathology systems.

You can get the free DARK Daily e-briefings by signing up at www.darkdaily.com.

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