Issue: Volume XVI No. 3 - February 23, 2009

Are Labs To Be Punished for Vitamin D Testing?

HERE’S AN INTERESTING QUESTION: Are labs to be punished because patients want to know if their Vitamin D levels are sufficient? Consider this: THE DARK REPORT predicted last year that labs might suffer a backlash from payers as a result of increased demand for Vitamin D testing. In a briefing titled: “Vitamin D Test Volumes …

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Molecular Advances Soon To Reshape Anatomic Path

CEO SUMMARY: Early this month, the second annual Molecular Summit assembled molecular first movers and early adopters to discuss their efforts to integrate molecular imaging and molecular diagnostics in patient care. One clear message emerged from two days of presentations and discussion: a host of new technologies is ready for clinical introduction and is likely …

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Medicare Carrier Proposes No Pay for Vitamin D Test

CEO SUMMARY: Medicare contractor NGS wants to end payment to labs and physicians for routine Vitamin D testing. In a proposed local coverage determination (LCD), the Medicare carrier says it would cover Vitamin D testing only for patients with chronic kidney disease, osteomalacia, hypercalcemia, and rickets. All other testing for Vitamin D would be denied. …

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Ten Years Ago: Quest Diagnostics Agrees to Buy SmithKline Labs

IT WAS 10 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH when a major event changed the competitive landscape for lab testing services. On February 9, 1999, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated signed an agreement to purchase SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories (SBCL). It was the largest laboratory acquisition up to that point. In one masterstroke, Quest Diagnostics would become the largest …

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Local Labs Have Opportunities To Increase MC Patient Access

CEO SUMMARY: Although the nation’s two largest laboratory companies have achieved a dominant managed care position, opportunities remain for regional labs to do more business with managed care plans. Two experts provide an update of managed care pricing trends for laboratory testing services. For independent labs and hospital lab outreach programs seeking to expand access …

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Need Rigorous Validation For Home Brew Assays

CEO SUMMARY: National headlines about erroneous Vitamin D results are a reminder to the lab industry of the imprecision and risks associated with home brew testing. According to one laboratory expert, every laboratory-developed test (LDT) must meet two high standards. One, accuracy, reproducibility, and transferability of the test result number. Two, a reference range that …

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Dark Daily

February 23, 2009 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Here’s an interesting development on the road to genetic medicine. In England last month, the press heralded the birth of what it has dubbed the “cancer-free” baby. It turns out the parents had the embryo screened for the BRCA-1 gene before implantation—and this was the first example known in Great Britain of an infant screened …

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