Issue: Volume XII No. 15 - October 24, 2005

Mergers Create Health Insurance Oligopoly

WITH EACH ROUND OF ACQUISITIONS involving the nation’s largest health insurers, more power concentrates into the hands of ever-larger corporations. For example, just two companies, WellPoint, Inc. and UnitedHealth Group, Inc., now insure one-third of the 150 million Americans who have some form of private health insurance! In the short term, these acquisitions probably mean …

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Payer Consolidation: WellPoint Buys into NYC

CEO SUMMARY: Acquisition by acquisition, the health insurance industry is consolidating. Wellpoint, Inc., already the nation’s largest health insurer at 28 million members, is acquiring WellChoice, Inc. and adding another 5 million members to its total. One consequence of this consolidation wave is to concentrate greater negotiating power into the hands of fewer, but larger, …

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OML Graduates First Distance-Learning MTs

CEO SUMMARY: Faced with staffing shortages and a ready pool of B.S. graduates in the local community, two years ago, Oregon Medical Laboratories decided to use long-distance learning programs to recruit and train employees interested in earning certification as MTs and MLTs. This business strategy paid off. The first group of students has graduated and …

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Medi-Cal Abandons Lab Contract Scheme

CEO SUMMARY: Another threat to limit all laboratories’ access to Medicaid patients has ended. Just as the Medicaid lab contracting initiative proposed last year in Florida collapsed from its innate complexity, so also has a similar contracting initiative collapsed in California. In both cases, state Medicaid administrators resorted to a reduction in lab fees as …

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NYC Collects Lab Results To Monitor Diabetics

CEO SUMMARY: With an estimated 780,000 diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetics in their city, officials at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene decided to take proactive action. Labs will now electronically report HbA1c test results electronically to city health officials, who will use this information to proactively interact with both clinicians and …

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Lab Tests in Pharmacies, Genzyme, Healthe, Singing River Hospital, VA

IT IS OFTEN SUGGESTED that pharmacies are a logical place to combine laboratory testing with prescription services. Such an arrangement would be consumer-friendly and has the potential to improve patient care while lowering costs. In Great Britain, the National Health Service has launched a pilot program to test this concept. Earlier this year, it began …

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Canadian Lab Confab Reveals Useful Insights

CEO SUMMARY: Last month, a group of Canadian early-adopter pathologists and laboratory directors came together for the first-ever Executive Edge forum to share best practices and other cutting-edge developments in laboratory management. Among the noteworthy developments is Canada Health Infoway, a national effort to create a universal electronic health record as early as 2009. LABORATORY …

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“October 24, 2005 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

XIFIN, Inc. has been recognized as one of San Diego’s “Technology Fast 50” companies. XIFIN, based in San Diego, provides laboratories and hospital outreach programs with a Web-based software system for managing laboratory accounts receivables and financial operations. To make this list, compiled by Deloitt and Touche, LLP, a company must have had revenues of …

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