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News Release

   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   March 8, 2002


Clifton R. Lacy, M.D.
Acting Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg or Dennis McGowan

DHSS Orders Medical Laboratory of Ironbound to Stop Testing

TRENTON -The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services today ordered Medical Laboratory of Ironbound - a small laboratory in Newark with a limited number of physician clients - to immediately stop all testing.

They were further ordered to give the department a list of their physician clients and patient clients so that the patients can be notified of possible erroneous results of tests performed and reported by the laboratory.

The department recommends that potentially affected patients contact their physician for further guidance. The Department is also operating a toll-free number at 800-792-9770. The number will be operational today until 10:00 p.m. for special assistance and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. During the week, assistance for the public will be available from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The department recommends that affected doctors use their clinical judgment to determine which patients should be retested. Physicians should consider retesting any patient whose tests were performed by the laboratory since January 9, 2001. The department estimates about 4,000 patients may have had tests performed at the laboratory since that date.

"The department takes very seriously its responsibility to safeguard the health of patients in New Jersey," said acting Health and Senior Services Commissioner Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. "An essential part of that responsibility is taking appropriate action, as we are today, in cases that do not meet the safety and quality standards our regulations demand and our residents deserve."

The order to cease and desist testing was issued as a result of an intensive, three-month investigation of the facility launched in late December by department staff. The inspectors found serious deficiencies that may have compromised the integrity of laboratory testing performed by Medical Laboratory of Ironbound.

The department's investigation was performed in close coordination with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is taking separate regulatory action.


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Department of Health and Senior Services
P. O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

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