Month: March 2005

Labs in United Kingdom Pressured to Change

CEO SUMMARY: Across the United Kingdom, the physical lay-out, instrumentation, and operation of laboratories is very close to that of laboratories in the United States and Canada. The source of most differences is how the healthcare system in the United Kingdom funds clinical services and sets priorities. The latest National Health Service initiative is to …

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Year-end Financials Released For Quest, LabCorp & LabOne

In RECENT WEEKS, public laboratory companies have released earnings reports for the year-ending December 31, 2004. It was generally a good year for the three largest lab companies that have a major emphasis on providing lab testing services to office-based physicians. In this year’s review, THE DARK REPORT looks at Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, Laboratory Corporation …

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OIG May Be Investigating AP Laboratory Condos

CEO SUMMARY: Attorneys for one of the companies which sells and manages anatomic pathology condominium laboratories have recently sent correspondence to owners of these lab condos. This correspondence discloses that the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is examining the company. Knowledge of this situation is only now surfacing and few other details have become …

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“March 28, 2005 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

For lab managers and pathologists tracking the growth of e-commerce, here’s a revealing statistic. The Federal Reserve Bank released numbers showing that 2003 was the first year where the number of electronic payment transactions exceeded the number of trans- actions paid by check. During 2003, there were 44.5 billion electronic payment transactions compared to 36.7 …

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Medicare Managed Care Is Poised to Double in Size

MEDICARE MANAGED CARE PLANS are poised to double in size. This can be both a threat and an opportunity for regional laboratories. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently reported that it had received 141 applications for new local Medicare Advantage plans for 2005. The applications included 55 HMOs, 73 PPOs, and 13 …

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Phlebotomist Gibson Steals Patient’s Identity

CEO SUMMARY: It was a case of a well-liked lab worker acting in rogue fashion to steal and use the identity of a patient to commit financial fraud. Within laboratories, employees in phlebotomy, accessioning, data entry, coding, billing, and collections often have access to sensitive patient information. In positions with low hourly wages and high …

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Is Your Lab at Risk from Patient Identity Theft?

REMEMBER THE CASE OF THE PHLEBOTOMIST in San Francisco who was discovered reusing butterfly needles? This incident revealed how vulnerable a laboratory—and its public reputation for integrity—is to actions by a rogue or renegade employee. That was back in 1999. A phlebotomist working for SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories (SBCL) was found to be washing and …

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Phlebotomist Convicted For Theft of Patient ID

CEO SUMMARY: Patient identity theft by a phlebotomist, prosecuted and convicted under HIPAA. This is a story whose true dimensions went unreported within the laboratory industry—until now! THE DARK REPORT is first to alert its clients to the possibility that every laboratory and pathology group practice may be at greater risk from internal patient identity …

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Privacy Officer Shares Lessons on ID Theft

CEO SUMMARY: “Nothing teaches like experience.” That adage aptly describes the lessons learned at a Seattle hospital after a case of patient identity theft surfaced. Laboratories and pathology groups must be just as alert to the potential for patient identity theft as they are to inappropriate disclosures of a patient’s health record. It’s one of …

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FL Medicaid Gives Up On Statewide Lab Contract

CEO SUMMARY: With the withdrawal of the December 13, 2004 “Invitation to Negotiate” (ITN), Florida’s Medicaid bureaucrats seem to have thrown in the towel—at least for the moment—on the effort to give a single laboratory company an exclusive three-year contract to provide laboratory testing services throughout the state. Labs in Florida are relieved, but remain …

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