CEO SUMMARY: Researchers at the Mayo Clinic showed that only 12% of patients referred to Mayo physicians for a second opinion got a confirmation that their original diagnosis was complete and correct. In 21% of the cases, the diagnosis was completely changed. Among patients who got additional work ups for a second opinion, some 80%
Clinical LaboratorySkip to articles
A clinical laboratory is a laboratory where tests are done on clinical specimens in order to get information about the health of a patient as pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.
Clinical laboratories are at the forefront of the personalized medicine trend. However, they are also targets for cost-cutting measures by payers, and increased regulation by CMS and FDA, making the industry a challenging one in which to succeed.
Laboratory medicine is generally divided into two sections, each of which being subdivided into multiple units. These two sections are:
- Anatomic pathology: Units included here are histopathology, cytopathology, and electron microscopy. Other disciplines pertaining to this section include anatomy, physiology, histology, pathology, and pathophysiology.
- Clinical pathology, which includes:
- Clinical Microbiology: This encompasses five different sciences. These include bacteriology, virology, parasitology, immunology, and mycology.
- Clinical Chemistry: Units under this section include instrumental analysis of blood components, enzymology, toxicology and endocrinology.
- Hematology: This section consists of automated and manual analysis of blood cells.
- Genetics is also studied along with a subspecialty known as cytogenetics.
- Reproductive biology: Semen analysis, Sperm bank and assisted reproductive technology.
Credibility of medical laboratories is paramount to the health and safety of the patients relying on the testing services provided by these labs. The international standard in use today for the accreditation of medical laboratories is ISO 15189. Under their respective approaches to laboratory licensure and accreditation, many countries have legal requirements that medical laboratories must be accredited to ISO 15189. This is not true in the United States.
In the United States, there are federal and state laws that address the licensure and accreditation of medical laboratories. Accreditation is done by the Joint Commission, College of American Pathologists, AAB (American Association of Bioanalysts), and other state and federal agencies. CLIA 88, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, also dictate testing and personnel.
In addition, many clinical laboratories have adopted quality management programs such as Six Sigma and Lean quality to improve clinical quality, reduce turnaround time, cut costs, and boost productivity. Lean and Six Sigma are both process improvement methodologies. At a very basic level, Lean is about speed and efficiency, while Six Sigma is about precision and accuracy, leading to data-driven decisions. Lean and Six Sigma methods are finding numerous applications in anatomic pathology laboratories and pathology group practices.
CEO SUMMARY: In a letter to the Texas Legislature, 20 Texas medical societies say UnitedHealthcare’s BeaconLBS program would be detrimental to patient care. The Texas Medical Association and the Texas Society of Pathologists said they were concerned that the program increases the administrative burden on referring physicians, takes away a physicians’ right to choose a
CEO SUMMARY: Following passage of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, officials at PeaceHealth and PeaceHealth Laboratories began to model the financial effect this law would have on this long-established hospital lab outreach program. Based on projections of a 20% cut in revenue during the first two to three years of the Medicare
CEO SUMMARY: In Oregon, one of the nation’s more successful and long-established health system outreach laboratories will cease to exist following its sale to Quest Diagnostics Incorporated. The seller explained that the Medicare Part B price cuts coming as a result of the PAMA market price reporting rule would result in a 20% revenue decline
ONCE AGAIN, the controversial lab testing company, Theranos, Inc., found itself the subject of negative news stories. In recent weeks, The Wall Street Journal reported that the beleaguered lab testing company in Palo Alto, Calif., laid off 155 staffers, voided more laboratory test results, and cut ties with its high-profile lawyer.
This round of bad news
CEO SUMMARY: Within THE DARK REPORT’S list of the Top 10 Lab Industry Stories for 2016 is one story of disruption that might have been one story of disruption about to happen. The disintegration of Theranos during 2016 is the big story about a self-proclaimed disruptor of the lab industry that finds itself struggling just
SEVERAL IMPORTANT clinical laboratory associations are concerned that the lab test price reporting under the Patient Access to Medicare Act of 2014 will have a negative effect on diagnostic innovation and on Medicare beneficiaries’ access to lab testing services.
The American Clinical Laboratory Association wants to ensure that the new Medicare Part B clinical laboratory fee
CEO SUMMARY: Clinical lab executives and experts who have studied the final rule for PAMA lab test market price reporting are seriously concerned that the design of this rule may put many of the nation’s smallest, but still essential, clinical labs at great risk of financial distress, if not outright failure. In this exclusive analysis,
IN THE EARLY 1960S, the great bluesman Albert King wrote, “Born Under a Bad Sign,” which contained the unforgettable lyric, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”
That lyric almost describes what’s happened to Theranos Inc. since October 2015. Although some would argue that Theranos brought this misfortune upon itself, it
CEO SUMMARY: As described in a civil lawsuit filed by a whistleblower pathologist in Kansas in July, a chair of pathology allegedly misdiagnosed cancer and the patient’s healthy pancreas was surgically removed. Court documents say that the pathologist then altered records to cover up the mistake and, when informed of this situation, the hospital did