Issue: Volume XX No. 4 - March 25, 2013

Cerner Acquires Lab Automation Company

BY NOW, MANY OF YOU HAVE HEARD THE NEWS that Cerner Corporation has acquired Labotix, Inc., the laboratory automation company based in Peterborough, Ontario. That transaction was announced last Monday, March 18. I consider this deal notable because it is an example of how strange bedfellows will be joining forces as healthcare undergoes a radical …

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Anticipating Washington’s Next Blows to Lab Testing

CEO SUMMARY: With the advent of 2013, almost every lab was responding to some type of price cut. Clinical labs are dealing with the sequential, multi-year cuts to the Medicare Part B Lab Test Price Schedule. Anatomic pathology labs are still adjusting to the expiration of the TC Grandfather clause last summer, as well as …

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Mass. AG Coakley Cites Two Labs in 48-Count Medicaid Kickback Case

MASSACHUSETTS ATTORNEY GENERAL Martha Coakley has cited two lab companies in a case involving kickbacks related to drugs of abuse testing. Coakley’s office made the announcement on March 8. Coakley alleges that fees were collected from patients illegally and that prescriptions for medications were illegally issued to patients diagnosed with opiate addiction. Four Defendants Indicted …

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Labs Have Opportunity to ID Sepsis Much Faster

CEO SUMMARY: In the Northeast, the microbiology department of a four-hospital health system adopted new technology for testing patients suspected of sepsis. Not only did this microbiology lab shorten the time-to-detection, it increased the diagnosis rate for sepsis from 9% to 15%—an improvement in detection of 67%! This effort led to shorter patient stays, improved …

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Mass Spectrometry Is Finding Larger Role in Clinical Labs

CEO SUMMARY: Mass spectrometry is a diagnostic technology that is transforming clinical labs and improving care at a rapid pace. The current generation of instruments is capable of supporting a faster time-to-answer and provides improved accuracy and specificity over many existing methods. For certain clinical assays, mass spec also can cost less per test than …

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Tennessee AG Opinion Adds Unease to EHR Donation Issue

ANOTHER STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL (AG) has issued an opinion on the donations of electronic health record (EHR) systems by clinical laboratories to referring physicians. The opinion says that such donations would violate Tennessee state law. The Tennessee AG’s opinion is similar to one issued in November in Washington State by its attorney general. Each of …

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Lab Copays Announced by California Exchange

CEO SUMMARY: California will operate one of the nation’s largest health insurance benefit exchanges, as defined by the Affordable Care Act. Officials recently unveiled details about the exchange, to be called Covered California. Based on bronze, silver, gold, or platinum plan coverage, beneficiaries will be required to pay a copay of between $6 and $45 …

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Dark Daily

March 25, 2013 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Last month, Dignity Health acknowledged that it is engaged in negotiations to sell its lab outreach business that is based in Stockton, California. The lab outreach program is known as HealthCare Clinical Laboratories and is associated with 294-bed St. Joseph’s Medical Center. The story surfaced after Dignity Health (formerly know as Catholic Healthcare West) notified …

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