Month: April 2009

Dark Daily

April 27, 2009 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

As unemployment rates climb in the United States, employers are ordering fewer pre-employment drugs of abuse (DOA) screening panels. This is expected. It is why investors know that drugs-of-abuse volumes are closely linked to the economic boom/bust cycle. During first quarter earning calls, public lab companies revealed the bad news in this sector of lab …

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Why Wall Street Likes Histology Lab Business

CEO SUMMARY: Over the past two decades, investor-owned anatomic pathology companies captured significant market share from community hospital-based pathology groups while delivering profits to their owners. Despite the recent downturn in the economy, Wall Street believes histology laboratories remain an attractive investment for investors. Financial analyst Kemp Dolliver explains the reasons why professional investors remain …

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Kaiser in Colorado Uses Lab Test Data to Improve Cardiac Care

CEO SUMMARY: Proud of a 73% reduction in mortality among patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) at Kaiser Permanente Colorado, clinical care teams there demonstrate how integrated care and more effective use of laboratory test data can lead to remarkable improvements in patient outcomes. Key themes in this achievement are the combined use of an …

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San Diego Labs Pursue Return of Bids from Medicare Officials

HAVING WON a significant court ruling last spring that stopped the Medicare Laboratory Testing Competitive Bidding Demonstration Project dead in its tracks, three San Diego-area laboratories are scheduled to return to court today. Important legal issues still need resolution. At today’s scheduled hearing, the three plaintiff laboratories—Sharp HealthCare, Scripps Health, and Internist Laboratory of Oceanside, …

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A Guilty Plea and A Global Flu Emergency

APRIL 2009 IS ON ITS WAY TO BECOMING A MILESTONE MONTH for the laboratory testing industry. On April 15, even as corporate officials from Quest Diagnostics Incorporated were walking into a federal courthouse to plead guilty to a criminal felony charge, health officials in Mexico were in the first stages of identifying a new, troubling …

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Puzzling New Flu Strain Causes Concern in Mexico

CEO SUMMARY: In recent weeks, health authorities in Mexico became aware of a new strain of influenza, A/H1N1, because of unexpected deaths from “atypical pneumonia.” As early as April 19, the CDC had identified similar cases in Texas and California. By last Friday, WHO, Canada’s PHAC, and the CDC had posted public alerts about this …

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Attorney General Brown Sues Seven California Labs

CEO SUMMARY: California Attorney General Jerry Brown made a big splash last month by accusing seven lab firms of committing “massive fraud and kickbacks” under state Medicaid laws. However, he is relying on a legal theory that has not prevailed in some prior court cases involving discounted billing for laboratory testing. Nonetheless, it appears that …

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Diagnostic Errors Get Attention As Next Patient Safety Goal

PHYSICIAN LEADERS IN PATIENT SAFETY are turning up the heat on doctors to reduce the incidence of diagnostic errors. This is a topic few dared to openly discuss until recently. It is directly linked to Medicare and private payer efforts to crack down on medical errors. This development has profound consequences for pathologists and laboratory …

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Warning: Three-Fold Rise In EMR Adoption Predicted

CEO SUMMARY: Doctors are responding to news that up to $20 billion in federal funding is now available to help pay for their adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) systems. Demand for EMRs is expected to increase three-fold in the coming years. That means clinical labs and pathology groups must step up their EMR interface …

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Inverness Medical, ACON, LabInfotech, Kaiser Permenante

INVERNESS ACQUIRES TEST BUSINESS FROM ACON WITH A STRATEGY OF BECOMING DOMINANT in the consumer testing market and point-of- care (POC) testing sector, Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc., of Waltham, Massachusetts, has actively acquired companies and technologies in these fields. Its latest move was to pay $200 million to purchase the remaining parts of ACON that …

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