Issue: Volume XXII No. 6 - April 20, 2015

Dark Daily

April 20, 2015 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

It’s a lawsuit that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated can’t seem to make go away. Last week in California, a federal judge ruled Hunter Laboratories and Surgical Pathology Associates (SPA) can continue to pursue their antitrust lawsuit against Quest Diagnostics. Plaintiffs allege that Quest conspired to monopolize lab testing in California. Hunter Laboratories claimed it was harmed because Quest Diagnostics sold lab tests below cost. SPA claimed it was harmed because Quest had below-cost capitated con- tracts with certain payers.

What’s New at Theranos? Lab Firm Expands in AZ

CEO SUMMARY: Over the past 18 months, Theranos has taken steps to enter the clinical lab marketplace. Across Greater Phoenix, Theranos now has specimen collection centers in about 40 Walgreens pharmacies. It is opening a CLIA lab facility in Scottsdale. Now that it is delivering clinical laboratory testing services on a regular basis, the quality of its laboratory test results and the service it provides to physicians and patients will get close scrutiny from both investors and competing labs.

Theranos: Many Questions, but Very Few Answers

CEO SUMMARY: Winston Churchill famously said that “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” That description could apply to Theranos, the company that claims it is poised to disrupt the entire clinical laboratory testing industry. In Phoenix, where Theranos is ramping up its clinical lab marketing and operations, competing lab companies have it under the microscope. Some say not all may be going to plan and Theranos has been asked to comment on several issues.

Increasing Costs for Genetic Tests Are Busting Lab Budgets

CEO SUMMARY: Across the nation, hospital administrators are recogniz- ing that effective lab test utilization is a critical factor in a lab’s success. At Seattle Children’s Hospital, clinical pathologists, clinical chemists, and labora- tory genetic counselors are using an innovative utilization management pro- gram to ensure the appropriate use of genetic and molecular tests. They also formed Pediatric Laboratory Utilization Guidance Services. In two years, PLUGS has gained 32 members, including seven hospital labs serving adults. Interest in utilization management is driven by a desire to decrease test order- ing errors and to control the cost of send-out tests.

COLA Questions UHC on BeaconLBS Accredit Rules

CEO SUMMARY: UnitedHealthcare’s ‘Laboratories of Choice’ network in Florida accepts only labs accredited by the College of American Pathologists and The Joint Commission. In March, COLA wrote to UnitedHealth to question this policy which excludes labs accredited by the five other accrediting bodies that hold deeming status from CMS. COLA has requested that UnitedHealthcare reconsider this program requirement, but UnitedHealthcare has not yet changed this policy.

Theranos: Many Questions, but Very Few Answers

CEO SUMMARY: Winston Churchill famously said that “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” That description could apply to Theranos, the company that claims it is poised to disrupt the entire clinical laboratory testing industry. In Phoenix, where Theranos is ramping up its clinical lab marketing and operations, competing lab companies have it under the microscope. Some say not all may be going to plan and Theranos has been asked to comment on several issues.

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