Month: May 2008

Dark Daily

May 27, 2008 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

A simple telemedicine system that incorporates cheap cell phone cameras is being developed by researchers in the United States and Brazil, according to an article in the May 15 issue of the American Chemical Society’s journal, Analytical Chemistry. The goal is to capture medical data, including lab test results, which are transmitted via cell phones …

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Federal Court Rules on Specimen Ownership

CEO SUMMARY: Recently, a federal appeals court affirmed a district court ruling concerning who owns human tissue specimens that are stored for research and other uses. While most clinical laboratories routinely discard many types of human specimens after use, any research facility or IVD manufacturer that retains specimens should review the new legal issues raised …

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Ruling Against UroPath Signals More Fed Action

CEO SUMMARY: It was a signal win for federal healthcare officials when a federal district court judge in Washington, DC, dismissed a case brought by UroPath, LLC. UroPath had sued HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt seeking to challenge the physician fee schedule final order and the anti-markup rule. The judge’s decision provides Medicare officials with useful …

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New Report Says Half Nation’s Hospitals Have Financial Woes

CEO Summary: In a groundbreaking study just released, consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal determined that as many as half of the nation’s hospitals are failing to generate enough patient revenue to sustain expenses! With a median occupancy rate of 43%, these hospitals are likely to experience a wave of bankruptcies, financial restructurings, and forced mergers. …

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Customer-Focused Labs Are Successful

AS YOU READ THIS ISSUE, YOU WILL BE AMONG THE FIRST in the laboratory industry to learn that more than 50% of the nation’s hospitals are financially deficient and “technically insolvent or at risk of insolvency.” That’s according to Alvarez & Marsal of New York City, which analyzed the financial performance of 3,900 hospitals and …

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War College 2008 Theme: Get Close to Customers!

CEO SUMMARY: Over the course of two days, pathologists, lab directors, and other laboratory professionals repeatedly heard speakers urge them to work hard to ensure that customers are the top priority for their laboratory organization. Another theme is the need for labs to organize their data so that they can send actionable information to referring …

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Cerner’s Market-Driven Employee Health Program

CEO SUMMARY: Cerner Corporation is using a variety of strategies to reduce the cost of health benefits and improve the quality of care for its workers and dependents. Gluing the entire effort together is an integrated patient health record (PHR) and a host of electronic services, ranging from real time eligibility verification and claims adjudication …

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Lab Automation Advocates Gather in Kobe, Japan

CEO SUMMARY: Everything relating to automation in clinical laboratory operations was the theme of the sixth “International Conference of Laboratory Automation and Robotics,” conducted last month in Kobe, Japan. Because laboratories in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan have two and three decades of experience with extensive automation, presentations at this gathering are quite sophisticated and reveal …

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Univ. of Tokyo Hospital Lab Has Plenty of Automation

CEO SUMMARY: In Japan, many clinical laboratories are in their third decade of using automation. At the University of Tokyo Hospital, total laboratory automation (TLA) was first implemented in 1991. Now on its fourth generation TLA system, this laboratory was worked upstream to automate specimen collection and urine collection, transport, and specimen preparation. The result …

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Cell Phones to be Used to Report Patient Self-Test Results

HOW ABOUT USING A CELL PHONE to monitor patient in-home laboratory test results? That’s about to happen with a new program introduced by CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland. CareFirst will test whether monitoring devices in cell phones can help patients with diabetes manage their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. CareFirst is …

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