Month: August 2010

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August 23, 2010 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

With the goal of developing biomarkers useful in diagnosing a variety of cancers, Pathwork Diagnostics, Inc., and Novartis AG announced a research partnership on July 30. It is an early example of a collaboration between a diagnostics company and a pharmaceutical company for the specific purpose of producing assays for use as “companion diagnostics”— diagnostic …

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HIEs Boost Fortunes of Community Hospital Labs

CEO SUMMARY: Regional health information exchanges (HIEs) are becoming more common. In Southern Indiana, the HealthLINC HIE is boosting the value that the community hospital laboratory provides to physicians. At the top of the list is expedited turnaround of laboratory test results, often within just two to three hours. Another major goal is for the …

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More Hospitals Now Use Point-of-Care Test Devices

CEO SUMMARY: Point-of-care testing (POCT) continues to gain acceptance in hospitals across the nation. One factor in this trend is improved technology for both the POC assays and the POC systems, each of which contributes to a more accurate and reproducible POC test result. But an equally important factor is tight management of a hospital’s …

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Tough Financial Times Ahead for Hospital Labs

THIS YEAR’S MASSIVE HEALTH REFORM LEGISLATION has a ticking financial time bomb for hospital laboratories. Starting October 1, Medicare Part A hospital fees will be reduced by 0.4% for the federal fiscal year 2011. This is expected to reduce Medicare Part A spending by $440 million in 2011 compared to 2010. As go the finances …

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Labs Hope to Renegotiate 1.75% Medicare Fee Cuts

CEO SUMMARY: As Congress crafted its reform of the nation’s healthcare system last year, it asked healthcare providers to contribute substantially to the cost of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The lab industry will see a 1.75% cut in reimbursement for Medicare Part B patients in each of the next five years—a cut …

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Pathology Records Found At Massachusetts Dump

CEO SUMMARY: Pathologists at four Massachusetts hospitals got a powerful reminder recently that a breach of protected health information (PHI) can occur at any time for the most unexpected reason. Earlier this month, the Boston Globe reported that the pathology reports and patient information for tens of thousands of individuals had been found unshredded and …

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Lab Manager Training Program Coming to Four Cities This Fall

WHEN IT COMES TO PREPARING the next generation of laboratory managers to assume leadership roles, pathologists and lab administrators have few options. That is about to change. This fall, in four different cities, workshops will be conducted specifically to provide your laboratory’s most promising management talent with the knowledge and tools they need to step …

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New “Meaningful Use” Rules Are Easier on Docs

CEO SUMMARY: The federal government will spend $20 billion over the next four years to encourage every physician to use an electronic medical record (EMR) system. For labs, this increase in connectivity represents a significant marketing opportunity. However, the new federal rules on meaningful use of EMRs released last month may complicate the situation for …

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Lab Industry Would Be Smart To Issue EMR Report Card

Guest Opinion by: Pat Wolfram Editor’s Note: For almost 20 years, Pat Wolfram has worked to develop electronic medical record systems at companies like MedicaLogic and GE Healthcare. His firm specializes in developing effective electronic interfaces that allow a physician’s EMR system to handle lab test orders and lab test results with that physician’s clinical …

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Specimen Volume Declines Reported By Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp

IN REPORTING SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS, there was enough difference in the numbers announced by Quest Diagnostics Incorporated and Laboratory Corporation of America to catch the attention of financial analysts. Revenue at LabCorp was up for the quarter while revenue at Quest Diagnostics was down for the quarter. But the devil is in the details. Financial …

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