Month: January 2005

Hey! We Are Halfway Through the 2000’s

WITHOUT SPLITTING HAIRS ABOUT WHETHER THE NEW MILLENNIUM started on January 1, 2000 or January 1, 2001 (although official millennium celebrations heavily favored the former date), I would like to call your attention to an important fact: 2005 is the half-way point in the current decade. Look what has changed since 2000. No longer do …

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Bi-Annual Look at Trends Reshaping Clinical Labs

CEO SUMMARY: Among other things, we declare the end to the heyday of the independent commercial lab company which offers a broad test menu to all types of office-based physicians. In its place springs forth the specialty or niche testing laboratory. Small and focused on a specific number of reference and esoteric tests, the number …

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“January 24, 2005 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Blood-alcohol testing in the emergency room can generate surprising results. That was certainly the case in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on December 20, 2004. A 67-year old pedestrian, hit by a car, was taken to the emergency room. Using a breath analyzer, his blood-alcohol level registered at .914! Physicians and police were amazed, since the patient was …

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Government Health Contracting Has a Seamy Side

WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN TO YOUR LABORATORY if either or both Medicare and your state’s Medicaid program initiated some type of competitive bidding for laboratory testing services? I’ll bet there would be a level of financial pain, not to mention the consequences to physicians and patients as long-standing laboratory relationships were changed in favor of the …

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OIG Releases Opinion On AP Lab Condominiums

CEO SUMMARY: In responding to a request for an advisory opinion, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued an advisory opinion which declares that anatomic pathology (AP) lab condominiums “could potentially generate prohibited remuneration under the anti-kickback statute.” It also voices concerns about how the operation of such AP laboratory condos could violate the …

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Analysis of OIG’s Opinion Shows Compliance Shift

CEO SUMMARY: Attorney Richard Cooper believes the latest Advisory Opinion by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is consistent with its earlier anti-kickback law pronouncements about situations where a physician is in a position to profit from the patients he/she refers. Cooper also comments on the vulnerability of the anatomic pathology laboratory condominium to …

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More Lab Consolidation: LabCorp Buys US LABS

CEO SUMMARY: Following three years of rapid growth in specimen volume and revenues, US LABS has accepted a purchase offer from Laboratory Corporation of America. Both US LABS’ fast growth and its sale to a national lab demonstrate that there is still opportunity in laboratory testing—and that one of the two blood brothers is ever …

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Roche/Affymetrix Microarray Cleared for Clinical Use by FDA

MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS took a big step forward in December. During the month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the first microarray instrument system and microarray-based laboratory test for clinical use. The FDA announced on December 23, 2004 that it had cleared the Gene-Chip® System (GCS) 3000Dx for clinical use. Affymetrix, Inc. of Santa Clara, …

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“January 3, 2005 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

More evidence of the move to an all computer economy has surfaced. During 2003, consumer use of credit cards, debit cards, and other electronic payment methods eclipsed paper checks for the first time. The study was done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. It reports that 36.7 billion checks were paid in 2003, for …

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