This December, BioReference is proud to be celebrating an exciting milestone – our 40th anniversary. For over four decades, our dedicated team has worked to build a legacy of scientific expertise through innovative and tailored laboratory test solutions. Join us in celebrating our 40th anniversary and learn more about our dynamic evolution.
BioReference Celebrates 40 Years: Our Story
BioReference has always prided itself on providing innovative solutions that give healthcare providers and patients the power to make confident healthcare decisions. Our journey has taken us from a small fleet of medical vans, to one of the largest, full-service specialty laboratories in the United States, offering state-of-the-art mobile phlebotomy services. Featuring achievements in COVID-19 testing, crucial acquisitions, cutting-edge technology solutions, and launches into niche markets along the way, BioReference has maintained a 40-year history of sustained growth and nimbleness within a rapidly changing healthcare environment.
The ’80s: Mobile Beginnings
Innovative even in its inception, BioReference was originally known by a different name – Med-Mobile. In 1981, founder Dr. Marc Grodman turned a small fleet of vans into mobile-examination rooms, providing physicals for firemen and other union workers in the New York area. Though these vans got him his start, Dr. Grodman sold the med mobiles in the mid-’80s and began laboratory operations with the belief that a strong business opportunity existed for a medium-sized clinical laboratory. Changing the name to “Bio-Reference” by the late ‘80s, the company rapidly expanded staff, opened its main laboratory location in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, and made its first acquisitions of BioMed Lab as well as Cytology and Pathology Associates.
The ’90s: Initial Expansion
The 1990s brought rapid growth to the company through key acquisitions including:
- Onodec Labs
- Community Medical Labs
- Advanced Medical Lab
- Renal dialysis business from GlaxoSmithKline
- Right Body Foods
Each of these strategic additions helped to build an impressive portfolio – providing opportunities to start expanding into niche markets with proven clinical expertise. In the late ‘90s, fueled by the dot-com bubble, BioReference launched then subsidiary PSIMedica, which was a web-based healthcare informatics company that focused on administrative and clinical data reporting.
Early 2000s: New Markets, New Technologies
BioReference stepped into the turn of the millennium ready to take on new markets, launching GenPath Oncology in the year 2000. Today, this specialized division is a leading expert in cancer diagnostics, offering a diverse range of diagnostic oncology solutions. As the benefits of electronic health records unfolded, BioReference launched CareEvolve for electronic laboratory ordering and reporting, paving way for what is now known to our clients as InsightDx.
The mid-2000s saw the launch and acquisition of GenPath Women’s Health and GeneDx, Inc., in 2005 and 2006 respectively. GenPath Women’s Health is now a leading, one-source laboratory solution for testing and service needs for women at every stage of their lives. GeneDx is a global leader in genomics, boasting an impressive suite of genetic testing services, and acknowledged expertise in rare and ultra-rare genetic disorders.
2010s: Sustained Growth and Acquisitions
Building off of the success of such ventures, BioReference used the latter half of the 2000s to continue branching out and making strategic acquisitions, leading to sustained and steady growth. Some of these achievements included:
- Launching comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) Array
- Launching Women’s Health STI Program
- Launching NextGen Testing
- Acquiring Lenetix
- Launching Prenatal Testing
- Acquiring The Genetics Center
- Launching InCellDx
- Acquiring Meridian Labs
- Acquiring Florida Clinical Labs
- Launching Global CareIndex
- Launching OnkoMatch Tumor Genotyping
- Launching Laboratorio Buena Salud
- Acquiring EdgeBio
- Acquiring Hunter Laboratories
- Launching an Inherited Cancer Testing Program
In 2015, BioReference was acquired by OPKO Health, Inc. – a diversified healthcare company with the goal to establish industry-leading positions and a focus on improving patient lives. This collaboration led to commendable milestones including the commercial launch of 4Kscore® and the introduction of GenPath Urology, offering comprehensive tests and services for a variety of urologic conditions, including prostate cancer, bladder cancer, hereditary cancers, kidney stones, and sexually transmitted infections. By 2019, BioReference and its subsidiaries were able to celebrate many key accomplishments like performing more than 150,000 exomes, announcing a new executive chairman, Dr. Jon Cohen, and new executive committee, and being recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Large Employers.
2020s: Patient Innovation and the COVID-19 Pandemic
As a physician-founded and physician-led laboratory, BioReference has always challenged the industry with a patient-centric approach. In early 2020, BioReference was prepared to meet the rising needs of digitally-savvy healthcare consumers with the launch of a new secure, HIPAA-compliant Patient Portal. In March of 2020, COVID-19 changed the world, and the healthcare industry was challenged like it has never been before.
From the beginning of the pandemic, BioReference placed a priority on the health and safety of clients, patients, employees, and communities. Through this commitment, BioReference employees displayed rare dedication and worked tirelessly in 2020 and beyond to build and deliver industry-leading and reliable coronavirus testing, services and technology solutions. With the development of these state-of-the-art services-at-scale and customizable testing solutions, BioReference enabled:
- Healthcare providers, hospitals and health systems to swiftly care for patients
- Government agencies to set-up community drive-thru testing centers
- Large employers to establish on-location employee rapid screening programs
- Travel and leisure agencies to get tourists back on cruise ships and to travel destinations
- Schools districts to get student and teachers back to classrooms
- Major league sports to get players and fans back to the game
By expanding infrastructure and testing capacity, maintaining turn-around-times, implementing point-of-care solutions, establishing on-site programs, and increasing access to testing – BioReference supported frontline healthcare professionals and public health authorities with the end goal of diagnosing disease faster and limiting subsequent spread of infection.
Today and Tomorrow: Digital Transformation
While the pandemic kept people at home, the adoption of telemedicine services – by both patients and healthcare providers – has been accelerated. We are in the midst of a digital transformation, one in which we have identified a gap in the diagnostic journey, and are reimagining every aspect of that journey to give patients and healthcare providers the most convenient and customizable experiences possible. In early 2021, our innovative drive brought BioReference back to its mobile roots – or perhaps wheels – with Scarlet Health®, a fully integrated, digital platform that provides on-demand specimen collection and the ultimate convenience of meeting patients at their home or workplace.
The healthcare industry as a whole has radically evolved over the last four decades, and digital health technologies continue to change the way patients and healthcare providers experience and consume healthcare. As telemedicine becomes increasingly more mainstream, having sophisticated and patient-centric digital solutions will give patients the opportunity to take more control over their health. While there are many challenges ahead in closing gaps in care – meeting patients where they are to provide the care they need and when they need it – digital solutions are giving patients and healthcare providers another tool to improve access and build a more cohesive telemedicine system.
We envision a future of convenience and customization, powered by today’s digitally-enabled technologies and based on four decades of clinical excellence. One in which healthcare providers are enabled to better anticipate patient needs, improve efficiencies, and provide more personalized care. Our team’s continued diligence has helped cement BioReference’s position as the largest, full-service specialty laboratory in the United States, serving approximately 19 million patients annually. Backed by a medical staff of more than 300 M.D., D.O., Ph.D., genetic counselors, and other clinical and scientific personnel, we’re proud to continue delivering credible and innovative services and solutions.
In this moment of reflection, we would like to take this opportunity to express sincere gratitude to our dedicated team of employees, devoted clients, and valued patients. We hope you will join us in celebrating 40 years of diagnostic achievement, and on our continued journey as we bring convenience to laboratory testing.