Month: March 2003

Bio-Reference Labs, Quest Diagnostics, TriPath Imaging, Specialty Labs, SARS

BIO-REFERENCE LABS POSTS 20% INCREASE IN ANNUAL NET REVENUE LAST YEAR’S FRENZY of laboratory acquisitions left Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. of Elmwood Park, New Jersey as the nation’s third-largest public laboratory company focused primarily on physicians’ office testing. For that reason, Bio-Reference’s ability to grow and sustain profits even as it competes against the two blood …

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“March 24, 2003 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Wholesale prices for general acute care hospitals has climbed steadily in recent months. As tracked by the U.S. Labor Department’s Wholesale Producer Price Index, hospital prices increased 0.5%. For the 12 months ending in February, hospital prices were up 4.7%. This is almost double the annual rate tracked by the Labor Department in 1999 and …

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Oldest “Working” Pathologist Dies at 104 on March 9

WORKING EIGHT-HOUR DAYS until a few weeks before his death on March 9, pathologist F. William Sunderman, M.D., Ph.D., Sc.D., lived a remarkable life. During his 104-year life, Dr. Sunderman played a key role in founding the Pennsylvania Association of Clinical Pathologists in 1946 and is credited with developing one of the earliest proficiency testing …

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Royal Free Hospital Is First Big British Lab Automation Project

CEO SUMMARY: To date, only a handful of total laboratory automation (TLA) projects have been implemented in Great Britain. One of those first TLA projects is at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, located in the northern suburbs of London. Design work started in 1998 and the first phase became operational in 2000. Despite Britain’s single-payer …

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Medicare “Bill Back” Policies Vary By Lab

CEO SUMMARY: When it comes to the subject of Medicare medical necessity, the classic “compliance conundrum” is again at work. Laboratories with conservative, strict compliance policies believe they are at a disadvantage at retaining physician-clients and winning new accounts when compared to other laboratories in their city which may be operating with more liberal, looser …

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Everyone Has an Opinion about Healthcare

IT’S NOT TOO OFTEN THAT YOU SEE A HEADLINE LIKE “U.S. Health System Care Has Collapsed.” Not only is it a startling proposition, but it is grammatically incorrect. The source of this proposition is His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In a press release dated February 23, 2003 from New Delhi, India, the Yogi “declared the U.S. …

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Why Patient Safety Is Change Agent for Labs

CEO SUMMARY: In the 1990s, managed care was the dominant change agent to the nation’s healthcare system. During the 2000s, it will be patient safety. However, unlike the unpleasant consequences of HMOs, capitation, and utilization risk, patient safety will prove to be a benevolent trend for physicians, hospitals, and laboratories. THROUGHOUT the American healthcare system, …

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Buyout of AmeriPath Riles Some Shareholders

CEO SUMMARY: Owners of the few remaining independent private laboratory companies closely watch prices paid by lab buyers. In the pending sale of AmeriPath to private equity investor Welsh, Carson, Anderson, & Stowe, dissenting shareholders disclosed several aspects of the valuation process. This information provides useful insights into the process of valuing laboratory companies. DISSENTING …

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“Where’s The Beef?” AP’s AWOL at AmeriPath

REMEMBER THAT FAMOUS TELEVISION commercial from Wendy’s burger restaurants? The elderly lady scrutinizes a big hamburger bun that’s obviously short on meat and asks the seminal question “Where’s the beef?” In 1984, it was a catch line that captured the American imagination and was repeated everywhere. More than 19 years have passed and people continue …

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Hospital Mergers Down For Fourth Straight Year

CEO SUMMARY: Changes in hospital ownership often drive laboratory restructuring projects. But hospital merger and acquisition activity has declined for four consecutive years. Consequently, comprehensive laboratory restructuring efforts have declined in parallel. Hospital M&A numbers for 2003 are predicted to remain at a low level. Meanwhile, cross-system laboratory ventures seem to be also languishing. FOR …

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