Issue: Volume XVII No. 5 - March 29, 2010

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For Better or for Worse: Nation Has New Health Law

CONGRESS AND THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION HAVE THEIR HEALTH LAW. Whether this new law serves the citizens of this country for the better or for the worse will not be known for several years into the future. I suspect that many of our elected officials in the House and Senate do not fully understand the major …

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2.3% Medical Device Tax Hits Clinical Labs in 2013

CEO SUMMARY: One aspect of the massive new health bill is that medical device companies will pay a 2.3% tax, effective January 1, 2013. Students of economics know that it is customers who invariably end up paying such direct taxes. Thus, clinical laboratories in the United States should prepare to see this 2.3% tax show …

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Business Advantages From Whole Slide Imaging

CEO SUMMARY: Whole slide imaging (WSI) is a niche product today, but it offers the potential to redefine the practice of pathology. That’s the opinion of pathologists presenting at a digital pathology workshop last month. One pathologist explained how WSI significantly improves collaboration between pathologists and referring physicians. Another pathologist explained how regulators soon may …

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Use of Point-of-Care Testing Reduces Mortality by 50%

CEO Summary: In a thinly-populated region the size of Texas and New Mexico combined, an integrated clinical care program based on point-of- care testing (POCT) has delivered impressive gains in health outcomes. For rural residents, mortality rates from cardiovascular disease have fallen by 50%. There were comparable declines in hospital length of stay and the …

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Serious Problems Plague Newfoundland Laboratory

CEO SUMMARY: Newfoundland’s St. John laboratory was rocked by revelations in February that its cyclosporine testing was flawed, exposing patients to the harmful affects from inappropriately high doses of the immunosuppressant drug. Within weeks of this news, the Chief of Laboratory Medicine resigned. Now a team from Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN) is at the …

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March 29, 2010 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

News sources are reporting a rumor that President Barack Obama intends to appoint Donald Berwick, M.D., as Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Berwick is currently Director of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston, Massachusetts. He has been outspoken about the need for healthcare to devote more effort to improving …

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