Month: March 2014

Pathology Groups Respond to Eroding Finances

THESE ARE NOT THE BEST OF TIMES FOR ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY GROUPS. The various Medicare fee cuts enacted in the past couple of years have eroded the financial stability of a substantial number of the nation’s 3,300 independent pathology practices and laboratories. The consequences of eroding finances will become more obvious with each passing month of …

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Clinical Labs Spending Money in New Ways

CEO SUMMARY: In response to the many changes now unfolding in the U.S. healthcare system, labs are investing their scarce capital in different ways. Five trends in lab spending can be identified. They range from expanding the informatics capabilities of a lab organization to acquiring the hottest new diagnostic technologies. For lab industry vendors, some …

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Better Data Needed to Support Pathologists as Consultants

MULTIPLE TRENDS ARE UNFOLDING that mutually reinforce the need for pathologists and PhDs to be experts and consultants in how physicians order and follow up on molecular diagnostics assays and genetic tests. “Healthcare in the United States is approaching a tipping point that can greatly favor pathologists and PhDs as specialist consultants,” observed Katherine Tynan, …

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Anatomic Pathology Business Faces Uncertain Future

CEO SUMMARY: There’s a day of reckoning on the way for the traditional business model of the private pathology group practice. At most risk are smaller pathology groups that typically have five or fewer pathologists. Blame it on the reduced prices that Medicare and private insurers are paying for pathology services. Another factor is the …

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Maine’s Spectrum Medical Group Offers Multiple Specialties

CEO SUMMARY: Pathologists looking for a viable future in a healthcare system marked by integration of clinical care and value-based reimbursement will be interested to learn about Spectrum Medical Group based in Portland, Maine. This 180-member multispecialist group includes 22 pathologists (but no primary care physicians). It has found a way to serve ACOs, health …

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Quest Gets into Wellness By Acquiring Summit Health

IT IS NO SURPRISE THAT THE NATION’S largest laboratory companies are looking for new revenue opportunities now that fee-for-service payment for lab tests is soon to end. One striking example of this trend was the move last week by Quest Diagnostics Incorporated to acquire Summit Health, a company in Novi, Michigan, that provides on-site illness …

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Eastern Canada’s Latest Lab Errors Get Attention

CEO SUMMARY: Authorities for Eastern Health in Newfoundland and Labrador province in Canada are conducting a root cause analysis after finding discrepancies in breast cancer testing that affected nine patients. Health officials said these cases were discovered as a result of an improved quality assurance testing program and are unrelated to problems that plagued Eastern …

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Dark Daily

March 17, 2014 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

People walking down a street in Weatherford, Connecticut on March 10, found lab test reports for at least 16 patients, according to a news report by a local television news station. This is a breach of protected health information (PHI) under the federal HIPAA statute. Reporters from WSFB contacted one of the patients whose lab …

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