Sierra Nevada Medical Hospital sells outreach laboratory services to Quest Diagnostics, closes 1 lab | TheUnion.com
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Sierra Nevada Medical Hospital sells outreach laboratory services to Quest Diagnostics, closes 1 lab

Alternatives to 150 Catherine Lane lab

• Quest Patient Service Center, 300 Sierra College Drive, Suite 210

• LabCorp, 104 Catherine Lane

• The hospital’s diagnostic center, 155 Glasson Way, Building 4

Like her coworkers at the 150 Catherine Lane, Grass Valley, draw lab station, clerk Linda Grube learned about a month ago that her office would close permanently.

Three of her coworkers, currently at 80 hours per pay period, will see their hours drop to 56. Grube herself will have no job after today.

“It’ll be OK,” Grube said. “There’s more concern for the rest of the people. I’m going to retire.”



The closure of the Catherine Lane draw lab comes a week after Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital sold its outreach laboratory services to Quest Diagnostics.

Quest on Monday began providing lab services at two lab draw stations formerly operated by the hospital: the Penn Valley draw station, 11366 Pleasant Valley Road; and the hospital’s diagnostic center, 155 Glasson Way, Building 4.




Hours of operation at both those labs will change.

The Penn Valley lab now is open from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, though it’s closed 11 a.m. to noon. Its phone number is 530-432-9434.

The hospital’s diagnostic center is open 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Its phone number is 530-477-7060.

Brandy Kolmer, communications specialist, said the hospital will continue to perform lab services for inpatients.

The draw station at 150 Catherine Lane, in a standalone building near the hospital, is the only lab to close permanently, Kolmer said.

“This decision was made with careful thought, and will allow our hospital to invest more strategically in our core business of acute and ambulatory clinical care, which is necessary in the current health-care environment,” Kolmer said in an email. “Throughout the discernment process, the hospital’s primary interest has been to ensure that community members continue to be able to receive care at locations that are convenient to them from a provider that delivers outstanding service.”

The move comes almost four months after officials said that as part of an ongoing assessment they would review their lab draw station operations. At the time Debbie Plass, the hospital’s vice president of operations, said private and governmental insurance reimbursement had changed, negatively affecting the draw labs.

“This was a business decision that was made in response to the recent changes in health care and the lower reimbursement we receive for these services,” Plass said in an email. “By exploring whether another provider would be better positioned to provide laboratory services, we found that Quest Diagnostics could provide cost savings and more efficient services. Simultaneously, and importantly, this sale allows our hospital to focus on its core services: excellent emergency and inpatient care.”

The sale resulted in 17 employees being reduced to part time positions and 10 layoffs, Catherine Lane employees said.

Kolmer declined to comment on the specifics of staffing changes. Instead she said that Quest already has posted open positions, and that hospital staff are given preference during the interview process.

“Every effort is being made to assist employees during this transition,” Kolmer said in an email.

Grube, who leaves her job today, said she’s one of those layoffs.

“I feel for our patients,” she added. “They love coming here and we’re not going to be here for them. I think a patient said it perfectly — we’ve got a hospital in this community, but we do not have a community hospital.”

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.


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