Issue: Volume VIII No. 12 - September 4, 2001

Of Automation, the Internet, and Other Curiosities

IN READING THE FIRST DRAFTS of the stories in this issue of THE DARK REPORT, I was struck by the unsteady progress that’s been made in the lab industry by emerging technologies such as total laboratory automation (TLA) and Internet-based lab services during recent years. How many of us remember the widespread belief, back in …

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It’s Modular Automation At Beaumont Hospital Lab

CEO SUMMARY: Many hospital labs are evaluating laboratory automation options. The fastest-growing problem which needs an answer is the shortage of trained medical technologists and technicians. At William Beaumont Hospital’s new laboratory, selective workstation and modular automation solutions were chosen as part of a master plan to reduce overall lab testing costs and minimize labor …

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Wireless Lab Reporting Now Active in Wash., DC

CEO SUMMARY: While companies like iScribe and Allscripts have attracted lots of attention with their efforts to convince doctors to use wireless PDAs to order prescriptions, InstantDx has quietly launched its “OnCallData” service in Washington, DC. It offers both prescription-ordering and lab test results reporting and allows a wireless connection with any type of device …

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Ohio Hospitals Prevail in Suit Against Federal Lab Claims

IT TOOK FIVE YEARS, but federal courts finally gave victory to the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) in its long-running battle against federal regulators over laboratory test billing issues. Early last month, the OHA signed a settlement with the federal government which resolves the OHA lawsuit. More importantly, it preserves an earlier, very important, federal court …

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Lab Test Ordering On Web Presents Tough Challenges

CEO SUMMARY: During 1999, many factors pointed to the speedy introduction of Web-based lab test ordering between physicians’ offices and their laboratory providers. Several credible players, like Healtheon/ WebMD (now WebMD) and Advanced Health Technologies, held numerous contracts to implement Web-based lab test ordering and results reporting. But Web-based lab test ordering never gained traction. …

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Quest & LabCorp Show Gains In Mid-Year Financial Reports

FOR THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2001, improved pricing for lab testing services was the strongest contributor to revenue growth at both Laboratory Corporation of America and Quest Diagnostics Incorporated. One important consequence of this development is that competing laboratories, including hospital lab outreach programs, are also enjoying the benefits of better pricing. It’s another …

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“September 4, 2001 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Here’s early warning: Medicare and Medicaid funding will become high-profile issues during 2002. Numbers just released by the Congressional Budget Office indicate that Medicare spending will increase by 10% during fiscal 2001 over fiscal 2000. Increased provider payments are contributing to part of the increase. Meanwhile, the nation’s economic slowdown is slashing state tax collections, …

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