Month: December 2018

December 24, 2018 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

Pathologists at the Houston Methodist health system created a website that tracks confirmed flu cases in real time. It is located at: https://flu.houstonmethodist.org and uses epidemiology data from the eight hospitals in the health system. The system updates every morning by polling the previous day’s data in the laboratory information system. Wesley Long, MD, an Assistant …

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2019 Outlook: Lab Industry Future Looks Dire, From Reactions to Recent Medicare Fraud Cases to PAMA Reporting and Other Stress Factors

CEO SUMMARY: This year’s list of the Top 10 Lab Industry Stories for 2018 is dominated by new directives from Medicare and private health insurers, as well as significant decisions by federal courts. Collectively, these developments create new compliance risks for all clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups. What is more notable about these top …

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Sonic to Pay $540 Million to Buy Aurora Diagnostics

CEO SUMMARY: Sonic Healthcare, Ltd., announced that it would pay $540 million—a multiple of 9.2 times EBITDA—to acquire Aurora Diagnostics, the anatomic pathology company based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Sonic will gain 32 pathology practice sites and add 220 pathologists to its network of regional clinical and pathology laboratories. The transaction marks the end …

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UHC Reportedly Cutting Ties with Regional Labs

CEO SUMMARY: By cutting out smaller, regional labs, UnitedHealthcare appears to want to shift an unknown percentage of its lab test volume to Quest Diagnostics Inc., which it recently restored to its national provider network. Clinical lab directors should be concerned about this development because UHC is the nation’s largest health insurer and because other …

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Expect Significant Disruption during 2019

Each time a new year approaches, it is natural to look ahead and think about what the next 12 months will bring. My bet is that certain sectors of the clinical laboratory industry are soon to experience substantial disruption. This disruption will come in two forms. First, federal regulators will be tougher on labs that …

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Several Big Surprises in 2018’s Top 10 Lab Stories

CEO SUMMARY: This year’s list of the Top 10 Lab Industry Stories for 2018 is dominated by new directives from Medicare and private health insurers, as well as significant decisions by federal courts. Collectively, these developments create new compliance risks for all clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups. What is more notable about these top …

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UK’s NHS to Build Five New Digital Path and Imaging Centers

TO SHORTEN THE TIME FOR CANCER DIAGNOSES, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) will open five new digital pathology and imaging centers that will use artificial intelligence. The digital pathology and imaging centers will open in Coventry, Glasgow, Leeds, London, and Oxford. Last month, the UK government announced that it will invest £50 million …

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New Opioid Law Hits Labs Paying Sales Commissions

CEO SUMMARY: At the last minute, Congress added all clinical laboratories to a far-reaching anti-kickback provision in the newly-enacted Support for Patients and Communities Act. This provision applies to all payers, both government and private. Lab experts say this new law could have a negative effect on patient care because it could make relatively innocuous …

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UnitedHealth Rumored to Be Excluding Labs from Its Network

IN RECENT DAYS, RUMORS HAVE SURFACED that UnitedHealthcare has begun to terminate the contracts it holds with a number of regional and non-national clinical laboratories. This news surfaced just as The Dark Report went to press. Given its importance to the clinical laboratory industry, we wanted to alert lab executives and pathologists to this development …

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