January 3, 2023, Intelligence: Late-Breaking Lab News

At the moment, it appears that the controversial Verifying Accurate Leading-edge IVCT Development (VALID) Act will have a hard time passing in Congress. The bill, which is intended to shift regulation of laboratory-developed tests (LDTs) to the federal Food and Drug Administration, fell to the wayside during year-end spending negotiations in Congress. Despite a strong push by proponents in November and December, the VALID Act was not included in the omnibus spending bill that will keep the government funded until next September. 


Some in the industry believe the VALID Act is dead for good because of public opposition by pathologists at academic medical centers. Furthermore, one of the bill’s architects, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), recently retired from Congress. However, there is no legal obstruction that would prevent lawmakers from filing the VALID Act or a similar bill in the future. There was good news for pathologists in the omnibus year-end spending bill that Congress passed. Originally, a 3.6% reduction on Medicare spending for pathology professional fees was scheduled to go into effect on January 1. However, language in the spending bill instead reduced that amount to about 1.1% for 2023, according to the College of American Pathologists. 


Hospital and health system laboratory outreach programs continue to be attractive acquisition targets for national labs. In December, Quest Diagnostics acquired certain assets of the lab outreach business of Northern Light Health based in Brewer, Maine. Quest will also provide lab management services for nine of Northern Light’s hospital laboratories, along with a cancer center lab. The deal will potentially increase competition in market territory covered by NorDx Labs, part of Maine Health. Like many hospitals that sell their outreach programs, Northern Light may be under financial pressure. The health system closed acute rehabilitation inpatient services at one of its hospitals in December and laid off rehab staff, WABI TV-5 reported. 


Stan Schofield retired as of Jan. 1, 2023, as Senior Vice President Laboratory Services at MaineHealth and President of NorDx Laboratories, a division of MaineHealth. He assumed this position in 1996. He will continue as Managing Principle of The Compass Group. 

Rita Romano has been named CEO at the Laboratory Alliance of Central New York. Romano returned to the group after a stint as President of Quadrant Laboratories in Syracuse, N.Y. She previously served as Director of the Operations Center at the Laboratory Alliance’s main lab.



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