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HDL president acknowledges difficulties for families after cutting 132 jobs

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Health Diagnostic Laboratory, headquartered on North 5th Street, is facing a lawsuit from an insurance provider. (PHOTO: Burl Rolett)

RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond-based Health Diagnostic Laboratory (HDL) announced Tuesday it would cut 132 jobs as it made an effort to return to its “core mission” of “fighting cardiovascular disease and diabetes with innovative cutting-edge, advanced laboratory testing that can lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment.”

“In recent years, HDL, Inc. had become involved in a number of non-core business interests that required significant time, attention and resources,” President and CEO of Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. Joe McConnell said in a statement. “The need to reallocate our resources to return to our core mission is what led to the reduction in force.”

HDL said the 132 job cuts equaled about 15 percent of its nationwide workforce.

With nearly 700 full-time employees, Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. was listed among the top 50 employers in Central Virginia by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“We deeply regret the business necessity that made this reduction in force necessary and we are all mindful that this will pose difficulties and challenges for our former colleagues and their families,” McConnell said. “At the same time, these necessary changes provide us with the opportunity to re-energize our company.”

It has been a tumultuous few months for the company known for being one of Richmond’s fastest growing businesses.

Tonya Mallory

Former Health Diagnostic Laboratory President Tonya Mallory

 

In September, Health Diagnostic Laboratory President and founder Tonya Mallory announced she would step down immediately. She cited family reasons for her departure.

The announcement came weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported HDL, Inc. stopped paying doctors a $20 fee for using their medical tests after those payments triggered a Special Fraud Alert from the Department of Health and Human Services. The Journal reported those payments could “give doctors an incentive to order unnecessary tests.” HDL, Inc. received payments from Medicare for each test.

In October, Cigna sued HDL for more than $80 million in damages. The insurance company alleged HDL extracted more than $84 million in fraudulent payments that involved waiving out-of-pocket fees for patients and then billing inflated rates to the insurance company, according to a report in RichmondBizSense.com.

This is a developing story.

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