Issue: Volume XXI No. 3 - February 24, 2014

Scrutinizing the Cost of Lab Testing

IT SEEMS LIKE THE COST OF LABORATORY TESTING continues to be a high-profile issue. On the pages that follow, you will read two different stories about how the cost of lab testing is undergoing intense scrutiny. This is not an accident. Rather, it shows how healthcare’s evolution is already undermining the traditional payment methods common …

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Labs, Path Groups Face Major Financial Issues

CEO SUMMARY: Are clinical labs and pathology groups ready for the end of fee-for-service reimbursement? That’s just one important question that will be answered at the upcoming Executive War College on Lab and Pathology Management that will take place in New Orleans on April 29-30. The American healthcare system is undergoing unprecedented transformation and sessions …

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Physician Group ACO Targets High-Volume Tests for Savings

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE OF HOW an accountable care organization views cost control.  Atrius Health sought to control excess costs by focusing on high-priced items. It started with inappropriate hospitalizations and imaging studies and moved on to laboratory testing. Atrius Health is a non-profit alliance of six community-based medical groups and a home health and hospice agency. …

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New Mass Spectrometry Toxicology Test Delivers Clinical Benefits

CEO SUMMARY: Researchers at the University of Colorado in Aurora used mass spectrometry technology to create a paradigm-shifting toxicology test. It uses a urine specimen and can identify 112 compounds and more than 500 illicit and brand-name drugs in a single assay. For pain management testing, not only does this bend the cost curve downward, …

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Federal Judge Lets Trial Proceed in Case against Quest

CEO SUMMARY: Four California labs have charged that Quest Diagnostics engaged in predatory pricing in a case filed originally in November 2012. After the lawsuit was amended last summer and fall, U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick III heard various motions in the case. On February 6 he ruled that the case could proceed against …

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Caris Life Sciences Achieves Accreditation to ISO 15189

IN DECIDING TO PURSUE ACCREDITATION TO ISO 15189: Medical Laboratories, Caris Life Sciences considered the international benefits of this designation. It was December when Caris Life Sciences of Irving, Texas, announced that it had earned accreditation to ISO 15189 from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). In addition to genomic testing, the company runs …

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Federal Judge Rules Against Idaho Hospital in Antitrust Case

LAST MONTH, A FEDERAL JUDGE RULED that St. Luke’s Health System of Boise, Idaho, violated antitrust laws when, in 2012, it acquired Saltzer Medical Group, the largest independent medical practice in the state. In ruling against the merger of a hospital and physician group, the judge said that the combined entity violated antitrust law and …

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Dark Daily

February 24, 2014 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Maybe the tough financial environment here in the United States is causing Sonic Healthcare Ltd., one of this nation’s bigger lab players, to be more interested in overseas lab testing opportunities. On February 18, its CEO, Colin Goldschmidt, M.D., told investors that “We continue to seek out synergistic [laboratory] acquisitions and we believe that Germany …

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