Issue: Volume XVI No. 3 - February 19, 2007

New Technologies Bring New Issues for Pathologists

TECHNOLOGICAL IMPROVEMENTS ARE MOVING through the lab industry like a buzz saw through balsa. Three briefings in this issue provide examples. In two briefings, we address the topic of false positive results generated in part because of innovations in molecular testing. In the third briefing, we explain how more sophisticated automation and complex new diagnostic …

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Quest Acknowledges Loss of United Business

CEO SUMMARY: In the boxing world, prize fights between heavyweight contenders always grab the world’s attention. The same is true in the lab industry, where the current fight between the industry’s two heavyweights has the potential to reshape several important aspects of the national market for lab testing services. This boxing match started on January …

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New Competitive Forces Alter Market Status Quo

CEO SUMMARY: January was not kind to Quest Diagnostics, as the company disclosed that it was likely to lose all its UnitedHealth business by year end. It also found itself excluded from the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey program. By February 1, however, Quest Diagnostics had acquired HemoCue, a point-of-care testing company …

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LabCorp Uses United as a “Growth Driver”

CEO SUMMARY: In the first six weeks since its exclusive national contract with UnitedHealth became effective, Laboratory Corporation of America has made major gains in several key markets. It has also begun to share the details of its three-phase strategic plan to maximize the leverage it gets from its 10-year pact with UnitedHealth. IN JUST …

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UK Laboratories Pushed to Serve Primary Care

CEO SUMMARY: At the fifth annual Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine (FiLM) meeting in Birmingham, England, lab administrators and pathologists from the United Kingdom and the United States gathered to share knowledge about innovations in the management of clinical laboratories. The event sold out for the second consecutive year, demonstrating the keen interest in the United …

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LIS As Productivity Tool Throughout the Laboratory

CEO SUMMARY: Is the classic laboratory information system (LIS) morphing into a different information technology product? That’s the observation of one laboratory IT expert, who says that “best of breed” LIS products are becoming productivity tools that support improved clinical performance and give lab managers the comprehensive, real time information they need to closely manage …

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Whooping Cough Cases Reveal Test Deficiencies

CEO SUMMARY: Doctors rely on labs for the definitive diagnosis of the bacterium that causes whooping cough. Yet in several recent cases, the use of a molecular test for a definitive diagnosis led to questions about the effectiveness of the test. Molecular pathologists recommend labs may need to do a second test to confirm initial …

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New Rules to Boost Cancer Test Accuracy

CEO SUMMARY: Recent developments in breast cancer testing are leading to changes in pathology. Oncologists and pathologists have issued new guidelines regarding HER2 testing and new research suggests changes may be coming for estrogen-receptor testing as well. For the first time, the new guidelines require a certain level of testing and new procedures for pre-analytical …

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

Recently Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is closed that it was planning to acquire laboratories in other countries, particularly in South America and the Pacific Region. (See pages 5-6.) One potential acquisition candidate is Diagnósticos da América (DASA), a public laboratory company with lab facilities in several major cities in Brazil. With annual revenues in excess of …

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