NU Online News Service, Dec. 1, 2003,1:27 p.m. EST – The Health Alliance, Cincinnati, a nonprofit company that controls six hospitals and a primary care physician network in the Cincinnati area, has signed a definitive agreement that calls for it to sell Alliance Laboratory Services, its medical testing laboratory unit, to LabOne Inc., Lenexa, Kan.[@@]

After completing the sale, Health Alliance would buy routine lab services from LabOne. Health Alliance hospitals would continue to own six “immediate response” hospital labs, but LabOne would run those labs, too, LabOne says.

The companies hope to complete the deal in early January 2004, LabOne says.

The price of the sale and other terms were not immediately available.

Health Alliance first revealed that it was talking to LabOne about a possible lab deal in October. Health Alliance says it is negotiating the deal because it could use extra cash and wants to avoid the capital expenditures needed to keep its testing labs up-to-date.