After 15 years, Saint Al's and Saint Luke's are ending a rare partnership at a Boise lab that looks at genes to diagnose certain types of cancer and birth defects. The Idaho Cytogenetics Diagnostics Lab is the only one of its kind in the Gem State. Saint Luke's is pulling out because it says the science of genetics is rapidly changing and from a cost and quality-of-care standpoint it makes more sense to send samples to labs outside the state. Some lab technicians say they are worried that sending samples out of state could double the time it takes to get back patient results.
"That is going to be a concern that we have to address. We already have a relationship with at least one other lab where we are sending samples six times a day to that lab via air and they are available 24-7, 7 days a week," explained Dr. Barton Hill of Saint Luke's
In a statement, Saint Al's says they are still exploring options for continuing the operation of ICDL, but at this time they say they do not have finalized plans.