Pathology Lab CEO Tells Employees Not to Talk to the Media

But in the memo sent to his employees, Dr. Francisco Velazquez didn’t deny the company is being acquired by LabCorp.

In a move characteristic of President Trump to keep whistleblowers from talking to the media, the president and CEO of PAML may be following his lead.

Media reports, including The Lund Report, have been acknowledging that LabCorp is getting ready to announce the purchase of Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories on Wednesday, while employees are scurrying around, trying to learn whether their jobs are in jeopardy.

But instead of saying the transaction is moving forward, Dr. Francisco Velazquez told employees not to speak to the media in a memorandum that was obtained by The Lund Report from a disheartened employee. Interestingly, Velazquez did not deny the sale was imminent.

“We ask that you do not personally engage or share information with the media and all inquiries from media outlets should be directed to me,” he told the entire staff yesterday, according to the memo leaked to The Lund Report.

“Please know that if or when there is any important news about PAML, we will communicate it to you as soon as we are able. Despite the concern that this may cause, I know that each of you will continue to provide the highest level of quality service to our patients and clients,” he added.

Despite Velazquez’s concerns, other media are also reporting that the deal is, in fact, taking place, and giving credit to The Lund Report for breaking the story.

Here’s what Triad Business Journal, based in LabCorp.’s home town, had to say about the transaction yesterday:

Burlington-based Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings is reported to be on the brink of acquiring a Spokane, Wash.-based medical testing company with $300 million in annual revenue.

The Lund Report, an independent news source reporting on the health care industry in the Northwest U.S., reports that Pathology Associates Medical Lab (PAML), owned by Providence Health & Services and Catholic Health Initiatives, will be sold to LabCorp (NYSE: LH) for an undisclosed sum.

The Spokane Review also referred to the breaking news by The Lund Report in its article:

The 60-year-old PAML employs over 1,600 people, tests samples collected in eight states and generates about $300 million a year in revenue, and the sale could affect over 500 employees.

The news about the sale has sparked a flurry of questions among PAML employees who work at the corporate headquarters in the University District, the lab near Providence Sacred Heart Hospital and patient service centers around the Spokane area, an employee who asked not to be identified told The Spokesman-Review on Wednesday.

Based in Burlington, North Carolina, Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (LabCorp) has been on a buying spree. The company paid $371 million for genetic testing lab Sequenom last fall, and in January it reached a deal to buy several clinical laboratories from Mount Sinai, a major health system in New York City. In 2015, LabCorp acquired New Jersey-based drug development firm Covance for about $5.7 billion.

Earlier this month Reuters reported that LabCorp is in talks to acquire contract researcher Pharmaceutical Product Development LLC for more than $8 billion. That would be LabCorp’s largest acquisition ever.

In a conference call with market analysts Thursday morning, LabCorp Chairman and CEO David King said the company doesn’t address speculation about possible deals.

“We look at a lot of things,” King said about potential acquisitions. “We end up passing on most of them.”

LabCorp on Thursday reported record-high revenue of $9.4 billion in 2016, up 11 percent from 2015, and profits of $732 million, compared to $437 million in 2015.

Diane can be reached at [email protected].

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