Issue: Volume X No. 8 - June 16, 2003

Transition Issues Breed Turmoil in Many AP Groups

PATHOLOGY GROUP PRACTICES ACROSS THE COUNTRY have yet to solve a major problem: in private practice settings, what is the right mix of compensation and equity for individual pathologists? The question strikes to the nub of retirement expectations. During their professional careers, can pathologists build the value of their group practice so that, at retirement …

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Med Tech Training Via Long-Distance Programs

CEO SUMMARY: Students from as far away as Oregon and Hawaii are using the online distance training program at the Medical College of Georgia, located in Augusta, to get their Bachelor of Science degree and medical technologist certification. Because many regions do not have a local MT training program, labs are demonstrating growing interest and …

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Doc “Bill-Back” Policy Rewritten at LabCorp

CEO SUMMARY: Laboratory compliance continues to evolve. In response to changes it sees in the lab marketplace, Laboratory Corporation of America instituted a fundamental change in its policy toward billing back physicians who fail to provide documentation necessary for the lab to successfully bill Medicare. It no longer “bills-back” client-physicians for “unbillable” tests. DURING THE …

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“Pay for Performance” Starts For California Docs

CEO SUMMARY: California is a bellwether state for healthcare innovations. Six of its largest payers are collaborating on “Pay For Performance,” a program which pays financial incentives to physician group practices which achieve measurable outcomes in clinical care, patient satisfaction, and implementation of information technology. It’s expected to be a model for similar initiatives in …

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Lab Acquisitions in 2002 Changed National Market

NEVER IN THE PAST THREE DECADES has there been so few laboratory companies—public and private—competing to offer lab testing services to office-based physicians. At the end of 2002, THE DARK REPORT’S annual ranking of public laboratory companies showed just 11 firms. Of these, two (Unilab Corporation and DIANON Systems, Inc.) were under acquisition agreements at …

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Genomic Health, LabCorp, DIANON Systems

GENETIC ANALYSIS FROM TISSUE BLOCKS UNVEILED IN CHICAGO IT WAS A SPECTACULAR DEBUT for a Northern California company now developing technology to allow genetic analysis of tissue blocks as a way to classify tumors. The company is Genomic Health, Inc., based in Redwood City, California. It is developing proprietary technology which uses “high-through-put analysis of …

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“Companion Diagnostics” Enter Lab Marketplace

CEO SUMMARY: Although the field of pharmacogenomics is still in its infancy, it has begun to develop sub-specialty areas. “Companion diagnostics” describes the marriage of a therapeutic drug with a specific diagnostic assay that can identify which patients will benefit from a prescription and which will not. “Companion diagnostics” will generally have reasonable reimbursement for …

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“June 16, 2003 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Not all segments of the laboratory testing industry are pushing intensely to oppose an expected attempt to reintroduce legislation restoring the 20% patient co-payment for Medicare Part B lab testing services. (See TDR, May 27, 2003.) Sources tell THE DARK REPORT that some of the more powerful lab organizations believe competitive advantage will accrue to …

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