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

AP Practices Cautioned to Focus on Expenses

CEO SUMMARY: Reviewing an AP practice’s expenses is vitally important today when payers are cutting reimbursement. In the past, government and private payers paid more for the technical and professional components of anatomic pathology work, but those rates have eroded. While conversations about revenue tend to obscure the need to talk about expenses, effective financial

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Labs Should Heed Lessons from Huge Data Breach

CEO SUMMARY: Following news last month about the biggest breach of personal health information in the clinical lab industry, lawyers representing some of the affected patients filed at least 12 class action lawsuits. Federal officials and attorneys general in multiple states also launched investigations. The breach occurred when hackers gained access to the data systems

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Four Insurers, Quest Developing Blockchain

CEO SUMMARY: Organizations developing blockchain technology say it is a tamper-proof method of sharing data across networks and among providers, health insurers, and health systems. The Synaptic Health Alliance includes four of the largest health insurers, a health network, and Quest Diagnostics. Its first project, now in its second year, will use blockchain to create

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Aetna Ends Payment for Professional Component

CEO SUMMARY: As of Aug. 1, Aetna will stop paying out-of-network pathologists for the professional component review of certain clinical pathology tests. Until now, the health insurer has paid for the professional component when out-of-network labs billed for clinical lab tests using the modifier 26. In a notice to labs, Aetna said it will pay

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Anthem Rolling Out More Anatomic Path Price Cuts

CEO SUMMARY: Anthem is making big changes to its relationships with anatomic pathology groups. Getting most of the attention at the moment are the insurer’s letters announcing price cuts for anatomic pathology services of 50% to 70% of Medicare fees. But another major change may also trigger negative consequences for pathologists. Anthem is moving pathology

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Northwell Health Lab Team Leverages Data to Add Value

CEO SUMMARY: Today, insurers get risk-adjusted payments for treating patients who have high-cost health conditions and they make risk-adjusted payments to physicians, hospitals, and other providers. At Northwell Health, the clinical lab saw the opportunity to leverage lab test data with other clinical and demographic data to identify patients who were undiagnosed or whose conditions were

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BRLI, LabCorp, Quest Disclose Data Breaches of 20M Patients

EARLIER THIS MONTH, BioReference Laboratories, Laboratory Corp. of America, and Quest Diagnostics each reported data breaches. The breaches originated with the American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA), which provides payment services to the three lab companies, according to published reports. The number of patients affected from the three incidents is at least 20 million and the breaches

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JAMA Study: 17% Fewer Pathologists Since 2007

CEO SUMMARY: The number of pathologists working in the United States declined by 17.53% from 2007 to 2017, according to recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. When adjusted for the U.S. population, the researchers said the workforce of pathologists is smaller than that of other countries and those other countries

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