Month: August 1997

“August 25, 1997 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Meris Laboratories continues to be a turnaround challenge. The company announced on August 4 that CEO and President Denis Simon had resigned. Appointed by the board on March 25, Simon stayed less than 18 weeks in the position. Like several other California labs, the San Jose-based company has struggled financially in recent years. ADD TO:… …

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Innovative Approach Promises Integration of Clinical Lab Data

CEO SUMMARY: Any laboratory executive with several years in the business has confronted the limitations of laboratory information system (LIS) software. For a variety of reasons, LIS software seldom delivers the full range of benefits and cost-effectiveness sought by laboratories. But in the fee-for-service world of the past, such limitations were tolerated by the healthcare …

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Private Insurers Sue SmithKline, Feds Pursue Labs In Six States

FRAUD AND ABUSE for laboratory billing is an issue which refuses to disappear. Private insurers filed a lawsuit against SmithKline Beecham last Thursday, seeking unspecified damages related to overcharging for laboratory testing during the years 1989-1995. At the same time, news emerged last week that government prosecutors recently sent letters to hospitals in six states …

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Warning Ahead: Investigation And Litigation

NEWS THAT PRIVATE INSURERS FILED A MAJOR LAWSUIT against SmithKline Beecham last Thursday confirms something I’ve wondered about for several years. What would be the private insurer’s perspective on the same laboratory billing and reimbursement practices which triggered federal settlements with major laboratories? Now we know. The opinion of private insurance companies is that they were …

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Issues At Columbia/HCA Exist At Other Hospitals

CEO SUMMARY: Even as federal regulators attract big headlines in their investigation of Columbia/HCA, laboratory administrators in a variety of hospital settings may be surprised in the future to find federal investigators scrutinizing the billing practices at their institution. Columbia’s investigation reveals that federal prosecutors will use precedents in earlier laboratory billing cases as a …

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Tennessee Lab Network To Become Operational

CEO SUMMARY: Although news of regional laboratory networks disappeared from the pages of lab industry publications, the movement is far from dead. In Tennessee, 13 hospital laboratories are about to launch the Middle Tennessee Healthcare Network. Organizers believe they have solutions to the management problems which plagued early networks. THREE YEARS OF EFFORT is about …

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Quest Diagnostics, Sonora Join Phoenix Operations

CEO SUMMARY: When Quest Diagnostics Incorporated and Sonora Laboratory Sciences announced their joint venture, it confirmed that Quest Diagnostics is the first of the national laboratories to begin serious restructuring of its national network of regional laboratories. Such restructuring will include local partners. Expect similar arrangements to occur in other cities during the next two …

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Joint Venture In Phoenix To Be Copied Elsewhere

CEO SUMMARY: Look for the Quest-Sonora joint venture to be followed by others in coming months. Competition and marketplace realities are forcing the three national laboratories to respond with groundbreaking strategies. Hospital laboratory partners in these deals can reap significant benefits with savvy negotiations. SHARED EQUITY VENTURES between hospitals and commercial laboratories are tough to …

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Probe of Columbia/HCA Generates Indictments

CEO SUMMARY: Hospital laboratory executives should pay close attention to how federal prosecutors develop their case against Columbia/HCA. Earlier “Labscam” settlements with commercial laboratories and hospital laboratory billing practices centered around restitution and fines for improper billing. In the case of Columbia, criminal charges against key executives will be an overarching part of this investigation. …

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