Feds Declare State's Public Health Lab in Good Standing

MARCH 31, 2006 - Posted at 7:58 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Months after warning the Arkansas Public Health Laboratory to change its procedures, the federal government has declared the lab back in good standing.  The state lab handles thousands of medical tests each year.

Last year, regulators said they intended to revoke the laboratory's certificate because of problems with its method for handling routine blood tests from newborn infants.  The agency took issue with the state using an outside lab.

In August, the state lab received a temporary certificate and continued to operate.  The testing of blood samples from newborns were sent to a lab in Virginia.  Thursday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that the state lab was back in good standing and congratulated the state for a successful turnaround.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)