Issue: Volume XXI No. 2 - February 3, 2014

Across the Pond, Lots of Changes in Lab Testing

IN BOTH THE UNITED KINGDOM AND EUROPE, plenty of change is unfolding in clinical laboratory and anatomic pathology testing. Our intrepid Editor-in-Chief, Robert L. Michel, spent last week in England attending our annual Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine conference, now in its eleventh year. He came back with interesting information on developments in several European nations …

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Quality Assurance Regs to Tighten for UK Labs

CEO SUMMARY: In the United Kingdom, a window of opportunity has opened for improving the quality assurance activities of pathology and histopathology laboratories. Last week, at the Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine conference, the newly-published “Pathology Quality Assurance Review” was the focus of several keynote sessions. One recommendation is to develop key assurance indicators (KAIs) that …

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New Blue Card Policies Cause Labs to Go Unpaid

CEO SUMMARY: Widespread frustration continues within the independent clinical laboratory community about the new Blue Card rules that took effect in October 2012. That was when the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association revised its Blue Card program so that labs must bill the local plan in the service area where the specimen was obtained/collected. Further, …

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Once Again, Revenue Declines at Quest Diagnostics Incorporated

FIRST TO REPORT its fourth quarter and full year earnings for 2013 was Quest Diagnostics Incorporated. It more than other potential buyers to released its earnings report last Thursday. For fourth quarter 2013, Quest Diagnostics generated revenue of $1.76 billion, compared to $1.77 billion in Q4- 2012. This was a decline of 1% and in …

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Lean Used to Lay Groundwork for Lab’s 15189 Accreditation

CEO SUMMARY: Henry Ford Health System’s laboratory organization has become first in the nation to have all its laboratory sites “standardized under one source of leadership” and accredited to the standards of ISO 15189: Medical Laboratories. The journey to achieve this current state has taken almost 10 years and started with the development of a …

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Medicare OPPS Rule Has Pitfalls for Labs

CEO SUMMARY: On January 1, the new Medicare rule for requiring bundled or packaged reimbursement for certain services covered by the hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) became effective. Just four days earlier (on December 27), Medicare officials issued instructions on how hospitals and laboratories should bill for these services. The new rules trigger serious …

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Dark Daily

February 3, 2014 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Last month, it was announced that Solstas Lab Partners of Greensboro, North Carolina, had agreed to be sold to Quest Diagnostics Incorporated. The sales price is $570 million and financial analysts on Wall Street estimate that the annual revenue at Solstas Lab Partners is about $350 million. This would indicate that Quest Diagnostics paid a …

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