MISTAKES IN interpreting pap smears at this Wisconsin laboratory cost two lives, resulting in the first case of criminal prosecution for lab errors. In 1996, the lab was fined $20,000 for missing signs of the cervical cancer that killed Dolores Geary and Karin Smith. Family Health Plan, a regional health maintenance organization (HMO) contracted with Chem-Bio for processing of medical samples.

Questions would later be asked about the influence of one Chem-Bio co-owner, Dr. Robert Lipo, who also sat on the board of Family Health Plan. The tests processed by Chem-Bio included routine Pap smears: testing of cells scraped from the cervix for signs of cervical cancer. With early detection, cervical cancer is virtually always curable, according to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition.

Chem-Bio's labs, also ...

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