Columbia laboratory Boyce and Bynum to lay off 177 workers next year

Boyce & Bynum Pathology Laboratories plans to lay off 177 workers next year after being sold. (File)

A Columbia laboratory has announced plans to lay off 177 workers next year after being sold.

The Columbia Missourian reported that Boyce & Bynum Pathology Laboratories disclosed how many workers would lose their jobs in a notice filed with the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The notice says the layoffs will begin in February and continue through April.

Last week, New Jersey-based Quest Diagnostics announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire Boyce & Bynum's assets and clinical lab business. Boyce & Bynum said in a statement that it realizes the layoffs will be "painful" and only made the decision after reviewing its options in a "challenging healthcare landscape."

The laid off workers will be able to apply for jobs with Quest, which has more than 45,000 employees nationwide.

Boyce and Bynum released the following statement:

In today’s increasingly cost-pressured healthcare environment, it is more important than ever that diagnostic service providers such as Boyce and Bynum Pathology Laboratories (BBPL) continually evolve to meet the demands of physicians, their patients and other health plan providers in order to maintain the highest levels of patient care, quality, innovation and cost efficiency.

Given these changing dynamics, BBPL has formed an agreement to sell its clinical laboratory business to Quest Diagnostics, the leading diagnostic information services provider. We expect to complete the transaction with Quest in the first quarter of 2019.

As a result, we have issued a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice that indicates that we expect to discontinue 177 jobs in at our site at 200 Portland St, Columbia, Missouri, beginning on February 8, 2019 and continuing into March and April 2019.

We realize that any job reduction is painful for families and the community. In recent days, we notified our employees of these developments. We did not make these decisions lightly, and only did so after reviewing our options in a challenging healthcare landscape.

We are heartened that Quest Diagnostics expects to continue to maintain a presence in Columbia, Missouri and has indicated to us that they intend to add several positions in the Columbia metropolitan area. We are collaborating with Quest to ensure that qualified BBPL employees have opportunities to apply to, and receive priority consideration for, positions with Quest both locally and nationally."

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