The state Department of Public Health has fined a New Jersey company $200,000 for operating eight blood collection centers throughout Connecticut without state approval.
Dr. Marc Grodman, president of BioReference Laboratories Inc., signed a consent order with DPH Nov. 3 in which he agreed to the fine and five years’ probation on the licenses of three clinical laboratories in Danbury, Greenwich and Westport and a certificate of approval for a blood collection center in Greenwich.
In October, BioReference – which bills itself as the third largest chain of full-service clinical diagnostic labs in the U.S. – withdrew all of its pending applications to open blood-drawing centers in Connecticut.
On Aug. 29, DPH shut down eight BioReference blood collection centers that had been operating without prior approval in Fairfield, Ansonia, Milford, New London, Norwich, Waterbury, Wallingford and North Stonington. The centers remain closed, and BioReference must apply for a certificate of approval to re-open them, William Gerrish, a DPH spokesman, said.
The company admitted in the consent order that it had operated the unapproved centers for months at a time. The BioReference Laboratories Patient Service Center at 26 Lafayette St., Norwich, operated the longest without approval: from November 2012 through Aug. 27 of this year.
Besides the large fine and lengthy probation, DPH also imposed a number of requirements on BioReference. It agreed to hire a consultant to make sure the company’s licensed centers are complying with state and federal regulations.
It also must appoint a phlebotomy supervisor who will visit each center every other week for a year to monitor the delivery of phlebotomy services. The company must also ensure that it has sufficient, qualified employees in its centers, that there is adequate equipment and supplies to meet the needs of patients and that it is meeting safety and infection control regulations, safety and emergencies, the consent order said.
Richard L. Faherty, a senior vice president at BioReference, said Thursday that the company voluntarily entered into the consent order.
“BioReference continues to operate at its other facilities in the state while it works closely with the state of Connecticut to ensure compliance with all requirements applicable to its provision of current and future Connecticut laboratory services,’’ he said.