Press Release Details

Quest Diagnostics to Sell Home Access Health’s Hepatitis C Lookback Notification Service

04/01/1999

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.—April 1, 1999--Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), a leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, and Home Access Health Corporation, the leader in home telemedicine, have teamed up to assist hospitals in the retrospective lookback of up to 500,000 people who may have received blood products that later tested positive for the Hepatitis C virus.

The two companies today announced an agreement in which Quest Diagnostics is serving as the exclusive sales agent for Home Access Health’s Lookback Notification Service™ (LNS) for Hepatitis C. "We are very pleased to have Quest as our partner in this important public health initiative," said Richard A. Quattrocchi, president of Home Access Health.

Under the terms of the agreement, Quest Diagnostics is exclusively representing the "gold standard" lookback notification service to hospitals and blood transfusion centers throughout the United States. "The ability to assist our customers meet this requirement with such a patient-oriented, quality, turn-key program, provides an exciting addition to our ever expanding hospital product offering," said David B. Willard, vice president of hospital marketing for Quest Diagnostics. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Among the many hospitals that have already signed up for the service: Bellevue Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital and Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, NY; Holy Cross Hospital, Silver Springs, MD; Jersey Shore Medical Center, Neptune, NJ; Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, IN; Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA and Medical City Dallas Hospital, Dallas, TX. A complete list of participating hospitals can be found at the Home Access Health website: www.homeaccess.com.

Home Access Health developed its Lookback Notification Service™ in response to guidelines issued last October by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

The guidelines mandate that by the end of March 1999, Blood Establishments must notify transfusion centers of possible Hepatitis C positive blood donations from 1988 through 1992 and the transfusion centers, correspondingly, must make a "best effort" to notify their patients who may have received tainted blood products. The notification must include basic information about Hepatitis C virus, options for testing and treatment and counseling access.

Together, Quest Diagnostics and Home Access Health have developed a turnkey, cost-effective solution for many hospitals strapped for personnel and resources to satisfy the federal lookback mandate.

The Lookback Notification Service™ includes:- Patient research- Patient & Physician notification- Patient Counseling; 24/7 access- Testing Referrals- Compliance Reporting

The cost of the service ranges from $80 to $100 per patient. Industry estimates of what it would cost a hospital to conduct a similar lookback effort on their own range from $130 to $300 per patient.

Home Access Health currently markets the only doctor recommended at-home HIV counseling and testing service approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Two critical components of its telemedicine platform, professional counseling and a proprietary patient tracking system, are both integrated into the Lookback Notification Service™. Also available to transfusion centers as part of "lookback" is a nationwide referral database of physicians who treat Hepatitis C. This database was created for the company’s home telemedicine Hepatitis C counseling and testing service, Hepatitis C Check(SM), which awaits regulatory approval from FDA.

Quest Diagnostics is one of the nation’s leading providers of diagnostic testing, information and services to physicians, hospitals, managed care organizations, employers and government agencies with 1998 revenues of $1.5 billion. The wide variety of tests performed on human tissue and fluids help doctors and hospitals diagnose, treat and monitor disease. Its Nichols Institute unit conducts research, specializes in esoteric testing using genetic screening and other advanced technologies, performs clinical studies testing and manufactures and distributes diagnostic test kits and instruments. Quest Informatics collects and analyzes laboratory, pharmaceutical and other data to help large healthcare customers identify and monitor patients who are at-risk for certain diseases. Additional Company information can be found on the Internet at www.questdiagnostics.com.

Through its leadership position in telemedicine, Home Access Health is now leveraging its platform to deliver additional solutions for major healthcare initiatives in the form of new products, services, alliances and customers. A privately held company, Home Access Health is developing partnerships with healthcare institutions including blood banks, hospital transfusion centers, government agencies, voluntary health organizations, pharmaceutical companies and managed care/employers who need specific telemedicine solutions. More information about Home Access Health can be found on the Internet at www.homeaccess.com.