Month: July 2008

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July 28, 2008 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Last Monday, UroPath, Inc., an Arlington, Texas, company operating anatomic pathology laboratory condominium complexes in several states, disclosed its sale to HealthTronics, Inc., of Austin, Texas. Sales price was $7.75 million. UroPath’s former owners are urologists who founded the company in 2003. (See TDR, August 9, 2004.) HealthTronics sells and maintains lithotripters, laser products, and …

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CMS Anti-Markup Rules Target In-Office Ancillaries

CEO SUMMARY: Medicare officials are again attempting to rein in what they consider to be potentially abusive forms of in-office ancillary services, including anatomic pathology. Proposed new rules published this month would clarify and perhaps expand the application of the Medicare anti-markup for purchased diagnostic testing services and for diagnostic tests provided by an ordering …

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Lab Testing Hits Two Home Runs For Patients

MANY OF US POINT OUT THAT LABORATORY MEDICINE is an undervalued and under-utilized asset within the American healthcare system. Lab testing is generally a minimal cost relative to the total episode of care, yet lab testing provides essential knowledge to help clinicians make a quick, accurate diagnosis and confidently select appropriate therapies. Like the late …

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Vitamin D Test Volumes Doubled in Past Year

CEO SUMMARY: Across the nation, labs report a near doubling in the volume of vitamin D tests they are performing. This is a success for laboratory medicine and an appropriate use of diagnostics tests as physicians strive for early detection and early intervention of vitamin D deficiency. However, the next chapter in this story will …

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53% Drop in Mortality from Lab Report Change

CEO SUMMARY: At Washington Hospital Center, it was unclear if the use of a rapid molecular assay for blood infections was changing outcomes until a new, real-time lab results reporting protocol required the lab to deliver the test results personally to the attending physician in real time. A study with a control group provided convincing …

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Labs Should Build Payer Relationships to Improve Commodity Pricing

“Health plans are interested in improving outcomes and saving money on complex, expensive cases because that’s where the money is. At the same time, that’s an opportunity for labs to help health plans cut costs while also improving quality. ” —Kerry Kaplan, President, Healthcare Solutions CEO Summary: At the most recent Executive War College, Kerry …

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Era of Digital Pathology Steadily Approaches

IMMEDIATELY AFTER GENERAL ELECTRIC ANNOUNCED its partnership with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) on June 5 to develop a fully integrated digital pathology system, we took a closer look at how some pioneering pathologists are using digital imaging systems in their daily clinical practice. What we found is that the technology is fairly …

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NY & Calif. Act to Stop Web Gene Testing Firms

CEO SUMMARY: Events in the past month indicate that a war is developing between Internet-based companies offering genetic tests to consumers and state and federal health regulators. New York state authorities have sent letters to at least 31 such companies in recent months. Then, on June 9, the California Department of Health sent cease-and-desist letters …

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Growth of Medical Tourism May Become Political Issue

HERE’S AN UNLIKELY PARTNERSHIP that is a sign of the healthcare times. The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) recently announced that they will work together to facilitate medical-related travel into Latin America. The goal of this partnership is to promote medical tourism. IHG is one of the world’s largest hotel …

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Toronto Pathologists Use Whole-Slide Imaging

CEO SUMMARY: It was the “frozen section problem” and productivity issues that led pathologists at the three-hospital University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto to implement a fully-digital pathology system with whole-slide imaging in 2006. Use of digital, whole-slide images makes it faster to report results to the surgeon, while making it easier to involve colleagues …

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