Issue: Volume XI No. 7 - May 17, 2004

Preparing for the Medicare-Medicaid Buzz Saw

MEDICAID PROGRAMS IN TWO STATES ARE CURRENTLY TARGETING laboratory testing services as a source of cost savings. It’s not coincidental that the states involved are Florida and California. During the past 15 years, both states have stayed at the cutting edge of managed healthcare. Many “innovations” (read: a way to pay providers less for the …

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California Medicaid Prepares To Issue Lab Contracts

CEO SUMMARY: California Medi-Cal officials may be creating more problems than they solve with their latest scheme to have independent laboratories sign contracts with their Medicaid program—while excluding hospital laboratory outreach programs and labs operated from physicians’ clinics and offices. Nominally, the goal is to reduce fraudulent lab test claims submitted to the California Medicaid …

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Beckman Loses Auction To Buy Lab-InterLink

CEO SUMMARY: For laboratories with automation equipment from Lab-InterLink, the sale of the troubled company to Cardinal Health is good news. At the same time, interesting questions are triggered by this development. What plans does Cardinal Health have for the laboratory testing marketplace? Was Beckman Coulter bidding for Lab-InterLink as a way to acquire the …

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ASCP’s “Molecular Pathology” Certification Now Available

RECOGNIZING the growing importance of molecular pathology, the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) established a new certification program in this diagnostic specialty. Offered since June 2003, 18 people have passed the examination and can use the designation “MP (ASCP).” Pre-requisites for the MP designation are a baccalaureate degree and on-the-job training in molecular pathology. …

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Baltimore Hospital Lab Problems Put Spotlight On CAP Inspections

CEO SUMMARY: Here’s an exclusive peek into a three-year battle between medical technologists wanting to do the right thing and a laboratory manager—backed by hospital administration—who aggressively stifled well-justified dissent. It is an inside look at one of the most grievous failures of a hospital-based laboratory in several decades. By knowingly reporting unreliable test results, …

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Health Line Clinical Labs, ChromaVision, Cytyc, TriPath, Quest Diagnostics

HEALTH LINE CLINICAL LABS SIGNS $10 MILLION FRAUD SETTLEMENT WITH FEDS DESPITE THE EVIDENCE that packing unnecessary tests into test panels is not acceptable to Medicare and Medicaid authorities, some laboratories continue the practice. Health Line Clinical Laboratories, Inc. (HLCL) of Burbank, California is the latest lab company to pay a significant fine to settle …

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“May 17, 2004 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Oncology is predicted to be a major driver in laboratory testing in coming years (see TDR, March 15, 2004). That said, lung cancer may be the next high-profile target, joining breast and prostate cancers as a high-priority disease. Last month the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that lung cancer rates among women …

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