Issue: Volume XII No. 9 - June 20, 2005

Judicial Earthquake Shakes Canada’s Health System

IT’S BEEN CALLED A “BOMBSHELL SUPREME COURT RULING” by no less than the Wall Street Journal. On June 9, 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the province of Quebec cannot prevent individuals from purchasing private health insurance policies for healthcare procedures covered under the Canadian health plan, called medicare. The case started in …

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DOJ Sends Subpoenas To Quest & LabCorp

CEO SUMMARY: In Newark, New Jersey, the Office of the U.S. Attorney served subpoenas to each of the two blood brothers, seeking information on “capitation and risk-sharing arrangements with government and private payers for the years 1993 through 1999.” At this point, little is known or understood about the interest and motives of federal prosecutors …

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Crime In the Lab Industry: A Poor Track Record

CEO SUMMARY: In a remarkable finding, THE DARK REPORT demonstrates how 17.5% of the public laboratory companies in operation since 1990 have had an existing or former CEO indicted for federal crimes! This is a powerful statement about business practices in the laboratory industry and the allure of “skirting” the full intent and meaning of …

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National HIPAA Conference Overlooks Patient ID Theft

IN APRIL, SEVERAL THOUSAND PRIVACY OFFICERS and HIPAA compliance officers gathered in New Orleans for the Health Care Compliance Association’s (HCCA) “2005 Compliance Institute.” THE DARK REPORT was in attendance to learn about new issues and concerns for provider compliance with HIPAA (Health Insurance and Accountability Act). There was one notable observation. Collectively, the healthcare …

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Patient ABNs Can Save On Expensive Send-outs

CEO SUMMARY: Throughout the United States, the growing number of high-priced, patent-protected specialty tests is eating into the laboratory budgets of many hospitals. At Hospital Consolidated Laboratories in Southfield, Michigan, this budget-busting threat triggered an innovative response. Now the lab uses ABNs to alert patients that they will be personally responsible to pay for such …

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Problems with ICD-9 Codes Contribute to Coder Shortage

ALTHOUGH ICD-9 IS CONSIDERED inadequate to effectively meet the needs of today’s healthcare system, a number of hurdles prevent implementation of the proposed ICD-10 codes. Of equal significance is another problem intertwined with the inadequate ICD-9 coding system: a nationwide shortage of coders. A 2001 survey by the American Hospital Association revealed an 18% vacancy …

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Unique Solution to Control Reagents, Other Supplies

CEO SUMMARY: This San Francisco hospital laboratory hit a home run with its clever use of automated materials management units, originally used in pharmacies. Reagents, phlebotomy supplies, and other laboratory consumables are stored in an access-controlled environment. Benefits have been significant reduction in reagent and other lab supply costs, fewer stock-outs, and reduced loss from …

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