Issue: Volume XIV No. 16 - November 19, 2007

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Patient Satisfaction Has New Significance for Labs

ONCE AGAIN, THE DARK REPORT IS FIRST TO CALL YOUR ATTENTION to a national trend not previously recognized. Specifically, I refer to how the focus by hospitals on patient safety and patient satisfaction has surfaced the dissatisfaction most patients have with phlebotomy and, by extension, with the representatives of hospital labs who draw blood. Surveys …

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Medicare Rules Tighten Anatomic Path Mark-ups

CEO SUMMARY: Effective on January 1, 2008, new rules take effect that restrict the circumstances under which physicians can mark up the anatomic pathology services provided to their patients. However, ambiguities in how the rules are written are likely to make the intent of the new rules difficult to apply to all the types of …

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PAML and HCA Agree to Start New Lab Joint Venture in Utah

WHEN THE NEW LABORATORY JOINT VENTURE between MountainStar Healthcare Network of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories (PAML) of Spokane, Washington, was announced on November 1, most people were not aware of an important fact. (See Dark Daily, November 5, 2007.) MountainStar Healthcare Network is owned by Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), …

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Labs in U.S. and Australia Learn from Each Other

CEO SUMMARY: Australia just conducted its first summit meeting on laboratory management and a near sell-out crowd showed up to learn the best and latest. For the Americans in the audience, there were several surprises. First, Australia has a highly-competitive laboratory sector, comparable in many aspects to the private sector here in the United States. …

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Federal Whistleblower Suit Settled by Dianon Systems

IT’S A REMINDER THAT WHISTLEBLOWERS continue to look for opportunities to turn in laboratories, even if the violations are relatively minor. Last month, Dianon Systems Inc., of Stratford, Connecticut, agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a federal false claims action originally filed by pathologist James J. Tiesinga, M.D., who once worked for Dianon in …

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Phlebotomy Is Closely Linked To Hospital Satisfaction Scores

CEO Summary: Based on patient satisfaction surveys done across the United States, Press Ganey Associates, Inc., reports that “lab” is ranked near the bottom of 10 clinical services. Source of these low satisfaction rankings is phlebotomy, since most patients find needle sticks uncomfortable and some even have a fear of needles. To raise patient satisfaction …

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ARUP, Motoman Automate Thawing and Mixing Steps

CEO SUMMARY: Laboratory automation continues to develop in unexpected new directions. Recently, ARUP Laboratories and Motoman, Inc., collaborated to develop an automated thawing and mixing solution that integrates with ARUP’s existing automated line and replaces manual processes. Put into operation earlier this year, the automated work cell has improved the standardization of specimen preparation, directly …

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November 19, 2007 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Readers of THE DARK REPORT may want to check out the November issue of MLO Magazine. It profiles the experiences of four scholarship winners to the Executive War College last May in Miami, Florida. Winners were Pervez A. Mirza of State University of New York (SUNY) in Brooklyn, New York; Gary Maluf, Ph.D., Benson Hospital, …

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