March 03, 2008 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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Another laboratory company is suing the federal government. On January 24, UroPath, LLC and three urology groups filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. UroPath, the largest operator of anatomic pathology (AP) condo/pod laboratory complexes, is suing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to roll back the anti-markup provisions of the 2008 Medicare Physician Fee Update that specifically target AP services performed in centralized, multi-laboratory buildings. The prohibition affecting condo/pod labs was implemented on January 1, 2008, while implementation of other anti-markup provisions were deferred until January 1, 2009.

MORE ON: Lawsuit

UroPath has brought out the big guns for its lawsuit. It is represented by the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski. The first positive development for UroPath is that the judge agreed to defer the UroPath preliminary injunction motion, and in exchange the Court confirmed that Medicare laboratory claims for the period February 1 until April 1 in centralized building labs may be submitted for reimbursement.

QUEST BULLISH ON ITS PROSPECTS IN INDIA

By the end of March, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated expects its first clinical laboratory operation in India to be operational. The company is optimistic about its future in India. Chairman and CEO Surya N. Mohapatra recently told analysts that market for laboratory testing in India is currently about $1 billion per year, and growing at 15% to 20%. Further, Mohapatra stated that “we are expecting $1 billion [in yearly revenue] from international in five years. So India is going to be our largest investment outside the United States.”

ADD TO: Global Labs

As Quest Diagnostics builds its international revenue base, it will mark a significant change. Until now, public lab companies in the United States have generally not had much of a presence in foreign countries. Currently, Sonic Healthcare, Ltd. of Sydney, Australia is the world’s most global laboratory company, with laboratory businesses operating in Australia, Europe, and North America.

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