Month: April 2012

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April 23, 2012 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

“Innovator of the Year” honors were recently bestowed on Robin Felder, Ph.D., who is Professor of Pathology and Associate Director of Clinical Chemistry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville. Felder was selected as the winner of the 2012 Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year Award, the highest honor bestowed by the University of Virginia. …

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Grand River Hospital, Psyche Systems, Siemens Healthcare, Bio-Rad, Home Test Direct

HOSPITAL LAB CLOSED, STAFF EVACUATED AFTER LAB SPECIMEN SPILL IT’S NOT OFTEN THAT A HOSPITAL LABORATORY needs to be closed and decontaminated following a lab accident. Yet that is what happened on April 2 at 495-bed Grand River Hospital in Kitchner, Ontario. The problem was caused by the release of the soil fungus coccidioides when …

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Top 10 IT Trends Send Message For Labs & Pathology Groups

CEO SUMMARY: Healthcare’s shift away from fee-for-service medicine and toward integrated clinical care is widely recognized. However, few lab administrators and pathologists are aware of the even faster transformation underway in healthcare informatics. Presented here are the “Top 10 Tech Trends” identified last month by Healthcare Informatics. A common theme is the need for information …

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Medicare Extends 5010 Implementation for a Second Time, Effective July 1, 2012

FACED WITH THE FACT that many payers were not ready to implement the 5010 standard under the Health Insurance Portability and Affordability Act (HIPAA), on March 15, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a second delay in enforcement of the standard. The extension is until June 30. As of March 15, …

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Lab Strategies for Population Health Management

EXTRAORDINARY THINGS ARE HAPPENING WITHIN THE HEALTH SYSTEM of this country. Powerful forces of change and transformation are at work in ways that have yet to be fully understood. The only certainty about the healthcare system we know today is that it will look very different in the next five years. For those of you …

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MD Self-Referral Issues Target of Utilization Study

CEO SUMMARY: When it comes to the in-office ancillary service (IOAS) exception to physician self-referral, the issue of in-clinic pathology services has become a hot potato. Publication in Health Affairs of a study of urologists’ self-referral of their patients for anatomic pathology services attracted national media attention. That study was funded by a grant from …

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Hospitals Get Bad News Re: TC Grandfather Expire

CEO SUMMARY: During negotiations to extend the payroll tax cut in February, Congressional negotiators agreed to end the technical component (TC) grandfather provision for more than 1,000 rural hospitals. Seeking to save $50 million annually, Congress said anatomic pathologists would no longer be able to bill Medicare for the TC services on surgical specimens. Pathologists …

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Hospital Labs Feel More Pressure to Lower Prices

CEO SUMMARY: It’s a new trend and gathering momentum. At managed care contract renewal time, more hospitals and health systems report much stronger pressure from health insurers to accept deep cuts to laboratory test prices. At the same time, managed care companies are getting smarter at designing health benefits plans that motivate and/or incentivize patients …

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Payer Trend in New Hampshire Is to Engage Lab Patients

CEO SUMMARY: A health insurer’s two-year-old effort to have patients choose low-cost laboratory testing options is causing patients to shift their lab work away from New Hampshire’s hospitals and instead use Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp, and ConVerge (a commercial lab company). This new health insurance program offers a number of important lessons for pathologists and lab …

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Ohio Lab Offers Lessons Learned from CAP 15189

CEO SUMMARY: For a lab looking to continually improve lab operations, becoming accredited to either ISO 15189 or CAP 15189 is an ideal challenge. After hearing from other lab directors about the benefits of becoming accredited to CAP 15189, the staff at Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Ohio, believed that accreditation to this standard would …

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