June 22, 2020 Intelligence: Late-Breaking Lab News

As they scramble to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal officials in multiple agencies are purchasing equipment and supplies from vendors with dubious credentials and little operating history. In recent days, Pro-Publica reported “a fledgling Texas company was paid $7.3 million for test tubes needed in tracking the spread of the coronavirus nationwide. But, instead of the standard vials, Fillakit LLC has supplied plastic tubes made for bottling soda, which state health officials say are unusable.”

MORE ON: Fillakit

ProPublica wrote, “the Federal Emergency Management Agency signed its first deal with Fillakit on May 7, just six days after the company was formed by an ex-telemarketer repeatedly accused of fraudulent practices over the past two decades. Fillakit has supplied a total of more than three million tubes, which FEMA then approved and sent to all 50 states. If the company fulfills its contractual obligation to provide four million tubes, it will receive a total of $10.16 million.”


Health Network Laboratories of Allentown, Penn., is changing its name to HNL Lab Medicine. In a press release, Maria Foster, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said the “rebrand reflects the company’s broader vision of inspiring a healthier and better-informed world.” The name change became effective this month.


• Pathologist Eugene N. “Gene” Herbek, MD, FCAP, 70, of Omaha, Neb., died on June 4, 2020. Nationally respected, Herbeck was President of the College of American Pathologists from 2013 through 2015. He was Medical Director at Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital Laboratory in Omaha, and prior to that was at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Sioux City, S.D.

• American Association of Clinical Chemistry selected Mark Golden as its new CEO. Current CEO Janet Kreizman will retire at the end of June. Golden comes to AACC from the National Society of Professional Engineers, and prior to that held leadership positions at the National Court Reporters Association and the Personal Communications Industry Association.

• COLA announced the retirement of John T. Daly, MD, the Chief Medical Officer for the laboratory accreditation organization. Daly had served as CMO since 2011 and formerly held positions at Duke University Health System and Lincoln Community Health Center.


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

… the COVID-19 pandemic is triggering changes in how clinical labs pick up and transport both routine and SARS-CoV-2 specimens. Providers are wary of how visits to their facilities by lab couriers might cause infections of their staffs.

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

That’s all the insider intelligence for this report. Look for the next briefing on Monday, July 13, 2020.



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