Month: April 2004

Competitive Bidding: A Growing Threat to Labs

CEO SUMMARY: When it comes to competitive bidding for laboratory testing services, Medicare is no longer the only government health program looking to save money through this method. Florida’s Medicaid program and the British Columbia health system are both moving forward with plans to implement competitive bidding. Skyrocketing healthcare costs may make this an unstoppable …

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Specialty Laboratories, Cytyc, Quest Diagnostics, DakoCytomation, Abbot

SPECIALTY LABORATORIES SHOWS VOLUME GROWTH DURING CALENDAR 2003 If the financial performance of Specialty Laboratories, Inc. in fourth quarter 2003 is an accurate measure, it appears the company has moved past its troubling problems of 2002. For fourth quarter 2003, Specialty Labs reported modest growth in both net revenue and specimen volume. This indicates that …

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Department of Defense and VA Prepare to Pool Health Data

IT’S ANOTHER IMPORTANT STEP on the road to a true “universal patient medical record.” Two government agencies are preparing to consolidate access to separate pools of healthcare data. Earlier this week, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced two pilot projects that, for the first time, will allow physicians …

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“April 26, 2004 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Pathology gets another plug! CBS television recognized National Medical Laboratory Week with public service announcements (PSAs) featuring CSI: Crime Scene Investigation star William Peterson. The story behind the story is that Peterson asked CBS to cover production costs and broadcast time to allow him to say something about the laboratory staffing shortage and to salute …

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Lab Contracting Fracas In British Columbia

CEO SUMMARY: Government healthcare officials in British Columbia are taking definitive steps to recast the existing status quo between private commercial laboratory companies and public (government) hospital laboratories in the province. Although the stated goals are to reduce the cost of laboratory testing, the proposed means to realize these savings may prove disruptive and counter-productive. …

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FL Medicaid Lab Bid Gets Slammed By Foes

CEO SUMMARY: Florida laboratories were caught by surprise last month when state Medicaid officials announced a 28-day process to award one lab with the state’s non-hospital Medicaid testing. To fight this RFP, a growing coalition of laboratories, lab industry trade groups, and the Florida Healthcare Coalition has taken swift steps to hire a lobbyist, gain …

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New Esoteric Lab Firm Does Two Acquisitions

CEO SUMMARY: Armed with $70 million, American Esoteric Laboratories (AEL) wants to build a national laboratory that offers a full menu of esoteric tests. It is building a primary laboratory in Dallas, which has one of the nation’s best air transport hubs. ThromboCare Laboratories and Viral Diagnostics, both based in the Dallas area, are just …

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Growing Criticism Hits Maryland General Hospital Lab

CEO SUMMARY: “Like peeling back layers of rotten fruit, the deeper state and federal inspectors looked into the management of the hospital’s lab, the more problems they found.”–Editorial, Baltimore Sun, April 7, 2004. Public response to the inspection report of the Maryland General Hospital laboratory has triggered criticism of how providers and accrediting agencies like …

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MT Contracts HIV & HCV In Hospital Lab Scandal

CEO SUMMARY: An extraordinary story is unfolding in a Baltimore hospital laboratory. Maryland state health officials have uncovered serious operational deficiencies, particularly with HIV and HCV testing performed over a 14-month period. During this same time, a medical technologist now infected with both HIV and HCV claims a malfunctioning laboratory instrument was the source of …

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