Issue: Volume XVII No. 8 - June 1, 2010

California’s Legal Challenge to Discount Pricing

PROBABLY NO TOPIC IN THE LAB TESTING INDUSTRY generates more controversy than discounted pricing for physicians, managed care companies, and IPAs (independent physician associations). Almost every pathologist and laboratory executive decries the corrosive effects of below-cost pricing. Yet, many of these same lab executives quietly continue to solicit new clients by dangling deeply-discounted—and often money-losing—prices …

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Westcliff Labs Announces BK and Sale to LabCorp

CEO SUMMARY: Subject to court approval, Laboratory Corporation of America is poised to acquire the assets of California-based Westcliff Medical Laboratories, Inc., which just filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy action in federal court on May 19. In a separate transaction, LabCorp has an agreement to acquire Diamond Reference Laboratory of Diamond Bar, California. The two …

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AG Jerry Brown Settles With Westcliff Med Labs

CEO SUMMARY: In California, Attorney General Jerry Brown is making progress in the whistleblower lawsuit alleging that seven lab companies in California violated state law by not giving Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, the same lowest lab test prices they extend to physicians, managed care plans, and IPAs. Westcliff Medical Laboratories, Inc., is the first …

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Taming the Blood Beast With Better Utilization

CEO SUMMARY: For hospital labs, explosive increases in the cost of blood products is a budget buster. At St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital, a multi-year blood management program is paying big dividends. Patient safety has improved, even as utilization of blood dropped by 7,000 units per year. Annual savings from this innovative blood management program now …

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Dark Daily

June 1, 2010 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Kaiser Permanente Northern California says it now has all 21 hospitals and 160 clinics and medical offices up and running with a fully functioning electronic health record (EHR) system. This ends implementation of a decade-long effort that cost $4 billion. Kaiser claims that its HealthConnect EHR is currently the world’s largest private sector EHR system. …

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