“June 19, 2000 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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At DIANON Systems, Inc., recent growth in revenues and profits may cost the anatomic pathology company its independence. In recent weeks there’s been widespread speculation that DIANON may be involved in some type of acquisition or merger negotiations. At various times, each of the two blood brothers has been rumored as an interested party. As of press time, there has been no official comment on this matter.


With the sustained financial performance of anatomic pathology companies such as AmeriPath, DIANON, IMPATH, and UroCor during the last half of the 1990’s, Wall Street investors are getting excited about the financial opportunities in anatomic pathology. But it seems that the last people to pay attention to this opportunity are pathologists themselves. Pathologists, not outsiders, should take the lead to create and control the next generation of anatomic pathology companies and group practices.


Once again, the threat of the Internet is bringing healthcare competitors to the same table. This time it’s three of the hospital group purchasing organizations (GPO): Consorta, Novation, and Premier. They’ve signed agreements with e-commerce vendors Medibuy.com, empactHealth.com, and Neoforma.com to create a committee, called “the estandards work group.” This committee will work to get manufacturers and distributors to develop common standard product codes that would uniquely identify medical supplies, including laboratory reagents, instruments, and similar products.


This initiative indicates that GPOs expect electronic purchasing exchanges to develop into viable tools. It shows how Internet e-commerce will transform the current way medical products are purchased. For hospital laboratories, the emergence of electronic purchasing exchanges is expected to provide new opportunities for labs to squeeze out costs through improved purchasing techniques. Also, the absence of standard nomenclature for even the most simple items, such as bandages, has enabled manufacturers and distributors to extract a higher price from hospitals and laboratories, due to the difficulty of cross-comparing similar products.


TriPath Imaging, Inc. of Burlington, North Carolina , maker of the PREP® and AutoPap® systems, announced that Paul Sohmer, M.D. would be its new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). James B. Powell, M.D. will relinquish his presidential duties to Sohmer and move to Chairman. Sohmer was most recently the President and CEO of Neuromedical Systems, Inc., and has held executive positions at Nichols Institute, Genetrix, and several other lab companies.


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