“November 22, 1999 Intelligence:  Late Breaking Lab News”

UroCor, Inc. of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is losing its long-time Chairman and CEO. Effective December 31, 1999, William A. Hagstrom will leave the company to pursue “new business start-up activities.” Hagstrom joined UroCor back in 1989, and helped it emerge from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. For four consecutive years in the early 1990s, UroCor made INC. Magazine’s Fastest-Growing business list. UroCor offers diagnostic and therapeutic services to urologists throughout the United States. It is an innovative firm which is a pioneer in attempting to provide physicians with both diagnostic services and therapeutic products.

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UroCor’s new President and CEO will be Michael W. George, who joined the company in August 1998. George was formerly with DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals, where he was President–International and President–North America.

AMA HITS THE WEB WITH FOR-PROFIT VENTURE

Even the American Medical Association (AMA) is now ready to profit from web-based services. It also wants to restore “physician authority” by creating its own Internet service. On October 28, the AMA and six physician associations announced the creation of Medem Inc. This company will offer web sites and services to compete with the likes of drkoop.com; Medscape, Inc.; and Web/MD. “We are trying to put the physician back in to this information loop,” commented Joe Sanders, Jr., M.D., who is Executive Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a participant in Medem.

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Critics note that the AMA is exposing itself to potential conflicts of interest by supporting a for-profit Internet company. It was just two years ago when the AMA was forced to back out of an agreement to endorse Sunbeam Corporation products in return for a fee. Dynacare, Inc. continues to build its presence in the South. It recently acquired Laboratories for Genetic Services, located in Houston, Texas. Medical Director C. Thomas Caskey, M.D. will stay on. Dynacare will operate this new lab as part of its joint venture with Memorial Hermann Healthcare System. The new lab provides genetic testing and counseling services for the areas of prenatal, postnatal, cancer, and FISH testing.

Pathology Consultants of America (PCA) added a new pathology practice to its corporate roster. Columbus Pathology Associates of Columbus, Mississippi was acquired by PCA. Since 1997, PCA has provided management services under contract to the Columbus group. The deal includes an independent laboratory. The three Columbus pathologists become part of PCA using an employment model agreement. This is the first such arrangement for PCA. PCA now operates seven outpatient laboratories and has 80 affiliated pathologists.

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