CEO SUMMARY: With each passing month, Theranos is looking more like a traditional clinical laboratory company, based on how it is expanding its patient service center network and courier/logistics system into different regions while pursuing managed care contracts with health insurers. Meanwhile, respected laboratory scientists and physicians are using peer-reviewed medical journals to point out that Theranos has yet to publish details about the performance of its diagnostic technology to enable independent validation.
Issue: Volume XXII No. 10 - July 13, 2015
FURTHER CONSOLIDATION AMONG THE NATION’S LARGEST HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES is expected following the news on July 3, that Aetna, Inc., and Humana, Inc., had entered a sales agreement calling for Aetna to pay $37 billion to acquire Humana.
CEO SUMMARY: Clinical laboratories of all sizes are poised to become the source of much of a hospital or health system’s “big data.” At many academic center labs, greater use of genetic and molecular testing requires that more space and more staff be devoted to data management. At the same time, the latest generation of gene sequencing instruments and molecular analyzers are cheaper, faster, and more automated. These systems make it feasible for even smaller labs to offer sophisticated genetic tests.
CEO SUMMARY: By combining total lab automation with Lean techniques in a comprehensive makeover of its microbiology lab, one of the largest labs providing hospital acute care and community microbiology services in North America achieved major benefits. Benefits ranged from improvements in lab result turnaround time and reduced errors to significant gains in staff productivity and the quality of lab test results. Productivity improvements allowed the micro lab to absorb a 15% increase in specimen volume while staff levels were reduced by six full-time equivalent MLTs.
OVERWHELMED WITH REQUESTS TO PAY for new genetic tests, health insurers, particularly smaller and regional insurers, find it easier to simply deny payment for such tests.