Quest Diagnostics has officially completed its acquisition of PeaceHealth’s laboratory services and patient centers, but it was a bumpy first day.
In Whatcom County, Quest took over eight patient service centers from PeaceHealth Monday. The lab at St. Joseph hospital will remain owned by PeaceHealth but will be managed by Quest.
In Bellingham, Quest experienced a delay in transitioning a portion of electronic orders for some people at the patient centers on Monday, said Wendy Bost, senior director of corporate communications for the company. Adding to the delay was a power outage in parts of Bellingham that took place around 11:30 a.m.
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“We regret any inconvenience this may have caused patients and providers,” Bost said in an email. “We are optimistic and excited about the opportunities to collaborate with PeaceHealth to make our innovations more broadly accessible to people in the region.”
This deal was first announced in February, with PeaceHealth officials saying it would provide patients with a greater access to services. As the deal moved toward completion, job elimination was a concern raised by the union, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. It’s estimated about 500 jobs would be eliminated by PeaceHealth in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Quest then hired people for the positions it needed, totaling about 275 for the three-state region.
Based in New Jersey, Quest has 43,000 employees and more than 2,000 patient service centers.