Another partner just asked Theranos to stop running blood tests

Elizabeth Holmes TheranosWSJTheranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes.

Theranos’ partner in Pennsylvania has asked the blood-testing company to stop doing blood draws.

The health insurer Capital BlueCross, which runs a retail store in Enola, Pennsylvania said Theranos has agreed to suspend its tests at the location “until further notice,” as originally reported by PennLive.com on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Walgreens told Theranos to stop using its Newark, California, lab to run tests. It also suspended its Theranos Wellness Center services in Palo Alto, California, “effective immediately.”

The Newark lab handled tests from Theranos’ California blood-testing locations.

The news isn’t unexpected and comes right after the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), one of the federal bodies that regulates laboratory blood tests, sent the company a letter released on Wednesday that accused Theranos of violating at least five clinical-laboratory regulations.

According to the letter, dated January 25, “it was determined that the deficient practices of the laboratory pose immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety.”

Other violations included issues with its testing systems and three instances of laboratory-personnel problems. A Theranos spokeswoman said Wednesday that more than 90% of the company’s tests are run in its Arizona lab, which wasn’t involved in the CMS letter.

Theranos has 10 days to show the agency that it’s working to fix the problems. The company said that it plans to submit a correction plan to CMS “within days.” If need be, CMS can sanction Theranos up to $10,000 for every day it’s not compliant, the letter reads.

We’ve reached out to Theranos and Capital BlueCross for comment, and we’ll update if we hear back.

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