Tufts Medicine lab sale to affect 574 jobs

Burlington, Mass.-based Tufts Medicine is eliminating hundreds of jobs as it outsources its outreach laboratory business and some operating assets to Labcorp, according to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification documents filed Aug. 11. However, the health system said it will work with Labcorp to have the majority of affected employees transition to a similar position with Labcorp.  

Labcorp announced the agreement with Tufts Medicine on Aug. 3 as part of a larger strategic partnership. 

A news release at the time said this partnership "aims to build upon Tufts Medicine's high quality laboratory services. When complete, the transaction will combine important services, skills and technologies from both organizations to further the delivery of high-quality patient care by leveraging Labcorp's leading clinical laboratory services, robust data and digital tools, and national network of patient service centers."

In WARN documents, Tufts Medicine said hundreds of employees could be affected by these plans, including 242 at Boston-based Tufts Medical Center, 251 at Lowell (Mass.) General Hospital, and 81 at MelroseWakefield Hospital in Melrose, Mass. The effective dates on the notices for the three facilities are in October, when the outreach acquisition is expected to be finalized.

The health system told Becker's it intends to have the majority of laboratory employees receive comparable job offers with Labcorp.

The acquisition comes as Tufts Medicine has experienced financial challenges. In February, the health system was downgraded by Fitch Ratings due to prolonged financial difficulties. Tufts Medicine joins Portland, Ore.-based Legacy Health and Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health in selling off its lab assets amid financial challenges.

Tufts Medicine has made other efforts to improve its financial picture, including announcing in January that it would lay off 70 people, primarily in administrative positions, and eliminate 170 vacant roles.

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