Issue: Volume XXIII No. 14 - October 17, 2016

Market Disruption Coming to Labs in Texas

IT WON’T BE WELCOME NEWS TO CLINICAL LABS AND PATHOLOGY GROUPS IN TEXAS that UnitedHealthcare will introduce its laboratory benefit management program in the Lone Star State. It will change the access many labs have to UHC patients and probably reduce the money these labs are paid if and when they do perform testing for …

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UnitedHealthcare to Bring BeaconLBS to Texas

CEO SUMMARY: With a quiet announcement this month that it was bringing its laboratory benefit management program to Texas on March 1, 2017, UnitedHealthcare is taking on a big challenge. Enrollment in UHC’s commercial plans in Texas is 4.3 million. That is twice the two million commercial plan members UHC has in Florida, where it …

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FDA Official Outlines Need for Federal Regulation of LDTs

AT A CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFING LAST WEEK, a federal official charged with regulating laboratory-developed tests made the case that LDTs are inconsistently reliable and thus put patients at risk, according to MedPage Today. “If you take the same patient sample and you send it to different labs, you can get different results,” stated Jeff Shuren, MD. He …

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Sonora Quest PSCs in Safeway Stores Prove Popular with Consumers

CEO SUMMARY: In a pilot program started in November 2015, Sonora Quest Laboratories built patient service centers in two Safeway grocery stores. That program went so well that patients filled available appointments in a matter of weeks. Sonora Quest even reported an increase in the number of walk-in, cash-paying consumers as a result of opening …

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Can Clinical Laboratories Adjust To ‘New’ Healthcare System?

CEO SUMMARY: Month by month, there is increased clarity in the path the American healthcare system will follow as hospitals, health systems, and physicians integrate clinical care, manage populations, and practice personalized and precision medicine. While these changes play out, clinical labs and pathology groups will need to align their diagnostic services to meet the …

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Theranos Ends Patient Testing, Sued for Deceiving Investors

IN THE EARLY 1960S, the great bluesman Albert King wrote, “Born Under a Bad Sign,” which contained the unforgettable lyric, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.” That lyric almost describes what’s happened to Theranos Inc. since October 2015. Although some would argue that Theranos brought this misfortune upon itself, …

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How Reference Pricing Encourages Patients to Help Cut Cost of Care

USE OF REFERENCE PRICING by Safeway to lower the cost of clinical laboratory tests was the subject of a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine in July. In a special issue, THE DARK REPORT analyzed the study, which showed that reference-based pricing helped slash the cost of clinical laboratory tests by 32% in just 24 …

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October 17, 2016 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

Quebec’s provincial health authority is moving forward with what may be one of the largest consolidations of clinical laboratory testing undertaken in North America during the past 30 years. The goal is to bring the lab testing currently done in as many as 500 locations throughout the province into 11 “high-volume processing centers.” The project, called …

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