Month: January 2008

“Here’s to Plain Talk and Clear Understanding!”

“WELL, SIR, HERE’S TO PLAIN TALK AND CLEAR UNDERSTANDING.” That’s a well-known line in the classic 1941 detective movie, “The Maltese Falcon.” It’s spoken by the Kasper Gutman character, played by Sidney Greenstreet, to San Francisco private eye, Sam Spade, played by Humphrey Bogart. Gutman thinks Spade has the priceless Maltese Falcon statue and he …

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Labs Face “Coercive” Bid, Not Competitive Bidding

CEO SUMMARY: In the weeks since the December 5 bidders’ conference in San Diego, where Medicare officials took the wraps off the complete requirements for the Laboratory Bidding Demonstration Project, the Clinical Laboratory Coalition has begun to consider strategies to delay or cancel the project. Options include litigation in court to stop the submission of …

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FDA Approves New Test For Respiratory Viruses

CEO SUMMARY: Respiratory viruses are responsible for 75% of all visits to physicians and yet physicians struggle to identify whether an infection is viral or bacterial. Now there is a new molecular assay with FDA clearance that allows physicians to test for 12 common viral infections. It is the xTAG Respiratory Viral Panel (RVP) from …

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CMS Spotlights AP as It Delays Anti-Markup Rule

CEO SUMMARY: When Medicare officials postponed implementing a new anti-markup rule late last month, it did so because of questions about how the new rule will be applied. However, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) did implement an aspect of the anti-markup rule on January 1, 2008, that affects one anatomic pathology laboratory …

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New Study Demonstrates How Lean Labs Outperform Peers

CEO SUMMARY: A new study provides powerful evidence that laboratories using Lean, Six Sigma, and similar process improvement methods consistently outperform conventionally managed laboratories. Using data sets from 100 laboratories, including 14 Lean/Six Sigma laboratories, consultant Thomas P. Joseph, of Management Insight, LLC, demonstrated that Lean labs have dramatically improved turnaround times and consistently produce …

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Total Health Spending Rises 6.7%, Tops $2.1 Trillion during 2006

HEALTHCARE COSTS totaled $2.1 trillion in 2006, according to the January/ February issue of Health Affairs. That is an increase of 6.7% over total spending in 2005, wrote researchers in an analysis titled “National Health Spending In 2006: A Year Of Change For Prescription Drugs.” Outside of a big, 8.5% jump in spending on prescription …

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Dark Daily

January 21, 2008 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

It’s a laboratory acquisition that shows the importance of anatomic pathology in today’s competitive laboratory marketplace. Carilion Labs of Roanoke, Virginia, acquired Innovative Pathology Services (IPS), an anatomic pathology and cytology lab in Knoxville, Tennessee. The deal closed last year. Carilion Labs acquired the laboratory and entered into professional service contracts with the 13 pathologists …

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