It may have been adding insult to injury when Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) made the “Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Jan. 9” list. After all, this recognition came just hours after the New York Times hit the street with its reporting of Quest’s acknowledgement of inaccurate Vitamin D test results, which itself was based on The Dark Report‘s coverage of Quest’s problems that had become public the previous week.
“Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street” is a regular feature of TheStreet.com. It is widely-read by professional investors and Wall Street analysts. Joining Quest Diagnostics on that day’s “Dumbest Things” list were Satyam Computer Service, Bernie Madoff, Former Vogue cover girl Liskula Cohen, and Bank of America.
TheStreet.com explained the basic facts about problems with Vitamin D testing at Quest Diagnostics, including Quest’s acknowledgement that it had reported thousands of inaccurate results for as long as a year and a half before initiating a recall/retest program for patients who received erroneous results, TheStreet.com then went on to say:
Quest’s test inaccuracies were first disclosed by The Dark Report, a newsletter for pathologists and lab technicians. Robert Michel, editor of the Dark Report, said it was the largest recall of test results he has heard since he started in the field in 1991.
“It’s an extraordinary event when a fully accredited and licensed laboratory produces such a large number of inaccurate results, and it seems not to have recognized the problem for 18 months,” Michel told TheStreet.com. “That’s a long time to miss something this big”
|This was followed with the irony and satire for which The Street.com is known. Columnist Gregg Greenberg ended his piece by writing, “We here at the Five Dumbest Research Lab aren’t scientists, but checking a patient’s blood for Vitamin D doesn’t seem all that difficult a task. Here’s a test for the brass at Quest Diagnostics: Can you say ‘boneheads’?
Every “Dumbest Thing” company gets a rating. TheStreet.com finished with this comment: “Dumb-o-meter score: 75 -Quest flunked this test. Miserably”.