Issue: Volume XVI No. 5 - April 6, 2009

Expanding Lab Market Share in a Recession

IT IS UNCHARTED TERRITORY FOR CLINICAL LABS AND PATHOLOGY GROUPS. A recession now officially exists in the United States. The last time this nation experienced an extended and painful economic recession was between July 1981 and November 1982, according to Wikipedia.com. That means it has been more than 26 years since anyone has managed a …

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Attorney General Brown Sues Seven California Labs

CEO SUMMARY: California Attorney General Jerry Brown made a big splash last month by accusing seven lab firms of committing “massive fraud and kickbacks” under state Medicaid laws. However, he is relying on a legal theory that has not prevailed in some prior court cases involving discounted billing for laboratory testing. Nonetheless, it appears that …

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Diagnostic Errors Get Attention As Next Patient Safety Goal

PHYSICIAN LEADERS IN PATIENT SAFETY are turning up the heat on doctors to reduce the incidence of diagnostic errors. This is a topic few dared to openly discuss until recently. It is directly linked to Medicare and private payer efforts to crack down on medical errors. This development has profound consequences for pathologists and laboratory …

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Warning: Three-Fold Rise In EMR Adoption Predicted

CEO SUMMARY: Doctors are responding to news that up to $20 billion in federal funding is now available to help pay for their adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) systems. Demand for EMRs is expected to increase three-fold in the coming years. That means clinical labs and pathology groups must step up their EMR interface …

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Inverness Medical, ACON, LabInfotech, Kaiser Permenante

INVERNESS ACQUIRES TEST BUSINESS FROM ACON WITH A STRATEGY OF BECOMING DOMINANT in the consumer testing market and point-of- care (POC) testing sector, Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc., of Waltham, Massachusetts, has actively acquired companies and technologies in these fields. Its latest move was to pay $200 million to purchase the remaining parts of ACON that …

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Navigenics Buys Clinical Lab From Affymetrix Last Month

IF NAVIGENICS INC. HAD A SLOGAN to match its business model, it might be, “Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead!” Last month the personal genomics testing company acquired a clinical testing laboratory. In a deal with Affymetrix, Inc., Navigenics purchased the Affymetrix Clinical Services Laboratory, a CLIA-certified testing facility in Sacramento, California. This lab provides …

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Hey Doc! How Do You Rate With Zagat Health Survey?

CEO SUMMARY: Once patients become involved in managing their healthcare, they actively seek information that can help them make informed decisions. Health insurers are providing tools to help make this job easier. WellPoint teamed up with Zagat Survey to create the Zagat Health Survey. This unique tool offers consumers a snapshot of a physician from …

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Medically Unlikely Edits Are Back–and a Problem!

CEO SUMMARY: On January 1, 2009, CMS implemented Phase VIII of its policy on medically unlikely edits (MUEs) involving about 100 laboratory CPT Codes. It also began to deny whole claims, not just the “medically unlikely” parts of claims. After hearing of the problem in early March, ACLA, CAP, and other lab groups stepped in …

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Dark Daily

April 6, 2009 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Effective May, 1, 2009, Laboratory Corporation of America will no longer be a contract provider for Regence BlueShield, head-quartered in Seattle, Washington.  Regence notified physicians that it was ending its relationship with LabCorp “as a result of rising costs of care provided in our markets and LabCorp’s refusal to accept market level reimbursement. …Regence is committed to …

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