Arrow-right Camera
News >  Business

LabCorp completes purchase of Spokane’s PAML

UPDATED: Thu., May 4, 2017, 6:17 p.m.

LabCorp has completed its acquisition of Spokane-based Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories. In this March 1 file photo, Chelsea Witter, clinical laboratory scientist for PAML, runs quality control for the new Roche line at the facility in Spokane. (Kathy Plonka/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
LabCorp has completed its acquisition of Spokane-based Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories. In this March 1 file photo, Chelsea Witter, clinical laboratory scientist for PAML, runs quality control for the new Roche line at the facility in Spokane. (Kathy Plonka/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Just 10 weeks after announcing its intent to buy Spokane-based Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories, LabCorp said Thursday it has completed the acquisition.

The publicly traded company, based in Burlington, North Carolina, purchased the 60-year-old Pathology Associated Medical Laboratories from Providence Health & Services and Catholic Health Initiatives.

The purchase price and other details of the transaction were not disclosed.

David King, LabCorp’s chairman and CEO, said the deal strengthens LabCorp’s relationships with “anchor health systems” and expands the company’s reach to “important markets.” LabCorp is one of the world’s larger medical testing companies, with operations in 60 countries.

“For over three decades, LabCorp has focused on comprehensive, deeply-engaged relationships with health systems and hospitals,” King said in a news release. “The acquisition of PAML furthers this strategy and aligns LabCorp with Providence and CHI, two leading, innovative health systems, and deepens our engagement and growth opportunities with a number of important community-based hospitals across multiple states.”

Kevin Lofton, the CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives, said, “We are confident that LabCorp, as PAML’s new owner, will serve the best interests of all who have relied on us to meet their health care needs through comprehensive, high-quality laboratory services.”

PAML employs more than 1,600 people and tests lab samples collected in eight states. About 850 people work for PAML in Spokane.

LabCorp also assumes PAML’s ownership interests in several joint ventures: Colorado Laboratory Services, Kentucky Laboratory Services, MountainStar Clinical Laboratories, PACLAB Network Laboratories and Tri-Cities Laboratory. PAML, as a LabCorp subsidiary, also has acquired the assets of Alpha Medical Laboratories, which PAML co-owned with Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene.

LabCorp said the PAML deal represents the first step in assuming control of the various joint ventures, which serve customers in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and Kentucky. LabCorp will acquire ownership interests in the Colorado, Kentucky and PACLAB ventures from the hospital co-owners through this year and into 2018, the company said Thursday.

The hospital partners in the MountainStar and Tri-Cities joint ventures continue to evaluate options for their interests, including possible sales to LabCorp.

“There will be no significant changes to operations or services at PAML until all joint venture transactions are complete,” LabCorp said in a news release. “The organizations have been working together to plan and implement a smooth, thoughtful transition that maintains continuity of services for patients, hospitals, clients and clinicians ….”

LabCorp and PAML officials have not commented on how the sale will affect PAML operations and employment in Spokane.

LabCorp already has a large laboratory in downtown Seattle near Swedish Medical Center where it could absorb the diagnostic testing currently done in Spokane. PAML also does some specialty diagnostic work in Spokane, which could be sent to LabCorp facilities in other parts of the country.

The laboratory medical business has been consolidating for about two decades, with the pace accelerating in the past three years as health organizations review whether to stay in the lab business. Laboratories have high fixed costs in buildings and equipment.

Northwest-based PeaceHealth recently sold most of its laboratory business in Washington, Oregon and Alaska to competitor Quest. That sale will result in a net loss of 225 jobs.


Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter

There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com

You have been successfully subscribed!