Issue: Volume VII No. 6 - April 17, 2000

Laboratory Regionalization Enters a New Phase

REGIONALIZATION OF LABORATORY SERVICES has been the primary theme behind all major changes to the clinical lab industry since the mid-1980s. There have been several phases, such as commercial lab consolidation, and hospital lab consolidation. But a constant factor underlying each of these phases has been the increased regionalization of lab services. THE DARK REPORT …

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Consolidated Med Labs Prepares To Close Down

CEO SUMMARY: One of the clinical lab industry’s most successful for-profit joint ventures will close its doors after 20 years of operation. The demise of Consolidated Medical Laboratories again demonstrates how difficult it is to overcome the different political agendas of hospital partners. Strong financial performance is frequently not enough to motivate hospital administrators to …

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Spectrum Labs Selects Nate Headley To Be CEO

CEO SUMMARY: Spectrum Laboratory Network, a joint venture among several large hospitals, recently selected Nate Headley to be its new Chief Executive Officer. Since its launch in 1997, Spectrum has performed below the expectations of its hospital owners. It was to enhance laboratory services to the hospitals, while generating additional cash flow by expanding specimen …

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Shared Lab Organizations Evolving Into New Forms

CEO SUMMARY: For two decades, the limited number of laboratory joint ventures that appeared were invariably partnerships between commercial labs and hospital labs. Today’s hostile healthcare environment makes it tougher for these types of joint ventures to prosper and meet the needs all partners. But the concept of shared lab ventures will not disappear. Now …

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Hospital Labs To Regain Pre-Eminence in Coming Years

CEO SUMMARY: During the past five years, powerful forces in the healthcare marketplace positioned hospital-based laboratories to once again become the dominant force in laboratory testing. But this can only occur if today’s generation of hospital laboratory directors and clinical pathologists fully understand this opportunity and act to properly prepare their laboratory. It will require …

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Aetna Settles Texas Suit, To Reform Care Policies

CEO SUMMARY: Texas demonstrates that, where providers have political clout, some of the more onerous aspects of managed care can be changed. The Texas Attorney General sued Aetna and five other HMOs in 1998 about the way physicians were given incentives to stay within budget numbers for the cost of care. Aetna decided to settle …

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Humana Denies Payment For Pathology CPT Codes

CEO SUMMARY: It’s not just the Medicare program that wants to eat away at the reimbursement for laboratory tests. Private payers continue to seek ways to cut back reimbursement to laboratory providers. The latest attack is on two surgical pathology codes—88300 and 88302. In at least three states, Humana Healthcare Corporation has denied claims submitted …

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“April 17, 2000 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Here’s an update on the number of integrated healthcare networks in the United States. SMG Marketing Group, Inc. of Chicago reports that IHNs seem here to stay. Between January 1999 and January 2000, the number of IHNs decreased from 604 to 595. That number is misleading, however. SMG says that “evidence of the staying power …

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