Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns is the managing editor of The Dark Report and a contributing editor for Dark Daily. An independent journalist in Falmouth, Mass., Burns has covered health care since 1991 and clinical laboratories since 2004. He writes for a variety of publications, including Managed Care magazine (where he is a contributing editor), Hospitals & Health Networks, and Healthcare Finance News. In addition, he is the insurance topic leader for the Association of Health Care Journalists and has worked as a writer and editor for The Commonwealth Fund, the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, the National Business Coalition on Health, the National Committee for Quality Assurance, and the National Quality Forum. Burns has edited books on health care business strategies for Faulkner & Gray and Panel Publishers and was editor-in-chief of Business & Health magazine, formerly published by Medical Economics Co., and later was a contributing editor and columnist for Managed Healthcare Executive magazine. He began his career as a journalist in Connecticut, working as a newspaper reporter for The Wallingford Post and the Meriden Record-Journal and as a copy editor, reporter, and regional news editor for The Hartford Courant, the nation’s oldest newspaper. While working for The Courant, he taught news writing at the University of Connecticut.

Articles by Joseph Burns

UnitedHealthcare Forming Network of Preferred Labs

NEW CLINICAL LABORATORY CONTRACTING INITIATIVES are planned at UnitedHealthcare (UHC), including the launch of a preferred laboratory network this summer.

The nation’s largest health insurer with 49 million beneficiaries, UHC announced in May that it would add Quest Diagnostics as an in-network lab provider effective Jan. 1, and retain Laboratory Corporation of America as a network

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ProMedica Lab Succeeds with Metrics, Daily Huddles

CEO SUMMARY: In Toledo, Ohio, ProMedica Laboratories uses extensive metrics to analyze almost all processes in the lab. Under a process improvement program in place for more than five years, the lab has implemented daily management to help streamline day-to-day operations. Concurrently, a newly-formed cross-functional test utilization team adopted recommendations from the Choosing Wisely campaign

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CEO Offers Lab Strategies for a Post-PAMA World

CEO SUMMARY: With so many market forces working against the economic interests of clinical laboratories, it is essential that all labs develop appropriate strategies designed to sustain the quality of laboratory testing services and the financial integrity of the laboratory organization. In this intelligence briefing, XIFIN, Inc.’s CEO, Lâle White, explains five strategies that are

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Boyce & Bynum Sells to Quest Diagnostics

CEO SUMMARY: With the year end approaching, lab buyers and sellers are working to finalize deals that may have been in discussion for months. The first big lab acquisition for this season came on Nov. 27, when Quest Diagnostics announced it was acquiring Boyce and Bynum Pathology Laboratories of Columbia, Mo. The pathologists will keep

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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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Illumina to Pay $1.2 Billion to Acquire Pacific Biosciences

IT’S AN ACQUISITION THAT BRINGS TOGETHER two different gene sequencing technologies into one firm. On Nov. 1, Illumina, Inc., announced an agreement to acquire Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) for $1.2 billion.

This deal will bolster Illumina’s already-dominant position in the market for DNA-sequencing machines. Wall Street analysts quickly pointed out that this gives Illumina control of two gene

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U of Florida Health Improves Patient Care with PGx Testing

CEO SUMMARY: Since 2011, the University of Florida Health System has used pharmacogenetic test (PGx) results to guide physicians when they prescribe certain drugs. This initiative has improved patient outcomes, reduced the overall cost per episode of care, and gained partial reimbursement from health insurers for PGx test claims. As this testing becomes more widespread, clinical

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