Issue: Volume IX No. 8 - June 3, 2002

Big Fight is Brewing Over Lab Test Reimbursement

BY NOW, MOST LAB EXECUTIVES AND PATHOLOGISTS AGREE that Medicare Part B fees and reimbursement guidelines for lab testing have just about become de facto national standards. That’s because private payers increasingly use Medicare as the basis for building their own pricing and reimbursement guidelines. If you agree with me that this is now a …

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CPI Lab Fee Adjustment Threatened by New Bill

CEO SUMMARY: Once again, the laboratory testing industry has been singled out as a healthcare “whipping boy” by Congressional aides. In working to develop the next federal budget, legislators again propose to deny annual CPI price updates for laboratory tests. This won’t be anything new, since only once in 14 years has Congress funded a …

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Vaccine Shortage Is Result Of Economic Disincentives

RECENT PUBLICITY about the nationwide shortage of vaccines makes it timely to remind laboratory executives and pathologists about the important role that economics plays in providing goods and services to the healthcare marketplace. After all, good management strategy must incorporate an accurate assessment of market trends. Every laboratory’s business plan must accurately anticipate the factors …

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Business Buzz Saw Hits Anatomic Path Firms

CEO SUMMARY: In recent years, both companies have enjoyed sustained and rapid growth in offering anatomic pathology (AP) services nationally. The departure of CFOs from both companies, each for different reasons, is a sign that such unbridled growth has created unique problems for each AP company. These problems are probably due to management decisions and …

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Commercial Lab JVs With Hospitals Are Declining In Number

CEO SUMMARY: There are many reasons why a properly-designed and well-managed laboratory test joint venture (JV) between a commercial lab company and a hospital should succeed. But no matter how strong such concepts look on paper, the real world has proven to be a harsh environment. A handful of promising JVs took root during the …

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Pharmacy Web-Ordering Now A Physician Priority

STRONG PRESSURES ARE MOTIVATING office-based physicians to adopt electronic ordering for prescriptions. In part, this is because of the drive to eliminate unnecessary medical errors. Estimates are that 6% of the nation’s physicians now use an electronic method to order prescriptions for their patients. Consulting firms Fulcrum Analytics, Inc. and Deloitte Research predict that, within …

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Sigma-Aldrich, Ivax Diagnostics, i-STAT, Quest Diagnostics, Unilab

SIGMA-ALDRICH SELLS ITS EIA PRODUCT LINE TO IVAX DIAGNOSTICS FOLLOWING ITS DECISION TO EXIT the clinical diagnostics market, Sigma-Aldrich, Inc. has sold its global enzyme immunoassay (EIA) product line to Ivax Diagnostics, Inc., based in Miami, Florida. The sale occurred on May 15. Sigma-Aldrich, through its Sigma Diagnostics division, was selling EIA instruments and reagents …

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“June 3, 2002 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Medicare fraud investigators may not be getting big headlines in recent years, but they are collecting ever-growing amounts of money from healthcare fraud settlements, judgements, and impositions. A record $1.36 billion was collected in 2001. During the year, federal investigators filed 445 criminal indictments and 188 healthcare fraud cases. Some observers believe fraud enforcement efforts …

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