Issue: Volume XI No. 15 - November 1, 2004

Facing Down the Lab Assay Patent Monster

PATENT ROYALTIES FOR HOMOCYSTEINE TESTING are the subject of our lead story in this issue. (See pages 2-4.) It provides an early example of how patent-protected diagnostic tests can create budget-busting problems for hospital laboratories which perform those tests. The spectre of crushing royalty payments on a host of patent-protected diagnostic assays has loomed large …

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Homocysteine Patent Triggers Royalty Demand

CEO SUMMARY: Laboratory Corporation of America fought a patent infringement case against the holder of the homocysteine assay patent and lost after a five-year court battle. Now Competitive Technologies, Inc. (CTI), armed with its victory in federal court, is ready to negotiate royalty arrangements with laboratories, IVD manufacturers, and even physicians. Labs all over the …

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BC Labs’ LOINC Venture Now Carries Pharma Info

CEO SUMMARY: In British Columbia, two commercial laboratory companies are intense competitors. Yet, beginning in 2002, they jointly offered a single Web browser-based system for lab test results reporting. LOINC was the tool which linked their individual lab data repositories to the PathNET portal. Now the provincial health ministry has authorized the use of PathNET …

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Physician Group Path Ventures To Undergo OIG Review in 2005

IN ITS FISCAL YEAR 2005 WORK PLAN, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) will “identify and review relationships between physicians who furnish pathology services in their offices and outside pathology companies.” It is another sign that federal healthcare investigators are concerned that more specialist physician groups are creating …

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Aligning Pathologist Productivity With Compensation Can Be Challenging

“Growing interest in ways to link a pathologist’s productivity to his/her compensation makes this a widely-discussed topic within many pathology group practices.” –Dennis Padget CEO SUMMARY: Part Three continues THE DARK REPORT’S series on measuring pathologist productivity. In this installment, pathology practice consultant Dennis Padget identifies different approaches to appropriately link pathologist productivity with compensation. …

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Applied Digital’s Verichip™, Laboratory Corp. of America

IMPLANTABLE HUMAN IDENTIFICATION CHIP CLEARED BY FDA IT’S A DEVELOPMENT THAT INVOKES images from both George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. An implantable radio frequency identification microchip (RFID) for human use was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical applications in the United States. On October 13, Applied …

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“November 1, 2004 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

At a steady rate, healthcare is evolving toward a fully-electronic, Internet-based informatics environment. Here are some noteworthy mile-stones that illustrate this progress. During 2003, consumers’ use of the Web to access their health insurers’ Web sites increased 94%! So reports the Manhattan Institute of New York City in a report titled “Hospital and Health Plan …

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