Thursday, October 9, 2003

What's the buzz?

Alliance lab unit in talks on sale

A proposed sale of Alliance Laboratory Services - believed to be the second-largest nonprofit medical laboratory in the country - has about 500 people wondering what might happen to their jobs.

After months of speculation, officials with the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati said Wednesday they have selected Kansas-based LabOne as partner in final negotiations to sell the Alliance's "core lab" service. A deal could be closed by Dec. 31.

The Alliance lab - based in Avondale at the former Jewish Hospital - processes more than 7 million lab tests a year for the six Health Alliance hospitals, most doctor offices in town and many nursing homes.

The Health Alliance wants to sell the lab because it needs money to spend on other capital improvement projects, officials say.

There is no word on how many samples would be shipped out of town for testing by other LabOne facilities, nor how many local jobs would be eliminated by such a change, Health Alliance spokeswoman Gail Myers said. However, about 300 jobs based in "stat labs" inside the Alliance's hospitals would not be affected by talks with LabOne.

Tim Bonfield

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