“December 9, 2002 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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This morning AmeriPath, Inc. announced that it would be purchased by Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, a private equity firm based in New York City. Welsh Carson will pay $21.25 per share, a 30% premium over AmeriPath’s closing NASDAQ price of $16.45 on Friday, December 6.Welsh Carson already owns 4.9% of AmeriPath and will pay $627 million to acquire the remaining AmeriPath Shares.

MORE ON: AmeriPath’s Sale

From the facts released today by Ameripath, it appears that Welsh Stowe intends to take AmeriPath private. Early speculation is that Welsh Stowe wants to build up AmeriPath and, at some future point, sell it or do a public stock offering. During the past two years, a variety of potential buyers, including Laboratory Corporation of America and Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, have looked at Ameripath. It is believed that both companies were interested in purchasing AmeriPath, but did not offer a high enough price.

TRADE GROUP ISSUES GUIDELINES TO DOCS FOR “E-CONSULTS”

Pathologists may want to get a copy of newly-issued guidelines regarding on-line consultations between doctors and patients. Among other things, these guidelines recommend that physicians restrict e-mail consultations only to their existing patients. The guidelines were issued by the eRisk Working Group for Healthcare. This task force includes the American Medical Association and 40 other physician associations. Most notably, it also includes malpractice carriers representing more than 70% of all insured physicians. For that reason, pathologists may find helpful guidance on how to deal with the increasing numbers of consumer requests for information about laboratory tests.

DOCTOR INCENTIVES

In California, there’s a “pay- for-performance” initiative under way for physicians. Six major health insurers covering eight million people in HMOs are using money from insurance premium increases to pay physicians for improving the quality of their care. Integrated Healthcare Associates of Walnut Creek, California announced the three measures which will be used to determine incentive payments. They are: 1) clinical quality (50% of the score); 2)patient satisfaction (40% of the score); and, 3) investment in information technology (10% of the score).

SIX SIGMA/LEAN MOVES AHEAD AT OHIO HOSPITAL

Six Sigma project successes in the laboratory at Grant Memorial Riverside Hospital in Columbus, Ohio have motivated administration to expand the program to other departments, including radiology, pharmacy, and emergency room. There are now six certified Black Belts in the Six Sigma program at Grant Riverside Hospital and there will be 17 when the latest Black Belt class graduates. Among them is Sandra Hood, identified by THE DARK REPORT earlier this year as the nation’s first hospital-based laboratory Black Belt.

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