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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/business/08labtest.html

--nation’s largest medical laboratory company = Quest Diagnostics, Madison, NJ
--$5.45 billion revenue for the first nine months of 2008
--stock price rose 80 cents Wednesday to $49.20
--Quest admitted giving incorrect vitamin D readings to thousands in the last two years
--in 2006-7 Quest shifted to new test of their own design, replacing FDA approved test
--new test uses mass spectrometer, calibration sometimes wrong, facilities don't follow procedures, etc
--doctors were complaining about unusually high test results publicly by summer 08 (noticed in 07)
--once their error was public, Quest sent letters to everybody and offered free retest
--raises questions about regulation of diagnostic testing
--so far there is no standardization of the tests
--many lab tests incl this one do not require FDA approval
--there has been a recent surge in vit D testing since science has shown its importance
--Medicare pays ~$40 for a vit D test
--doctors say some pts billed $200 for Quest test
--Dr. Binkley sent a blood sample to six labs-->results ranged from 14ngm/ml (deficient) to 41ng (3x max)

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