Issue: Volume XXIII, No. 2 - February 8, 2016

Healthcare’s Ongoing Struggle: Patients or Profits?

ALL THE MISPLACED INCENTIVES OF A HEALTHCARE SYSTEM that uses fee-for-service to reimburse providers continue. The diverse spread of lab industry business intelligence presented in this issue of THE DARK REPORT vividly demonstrates that there continues to be a “best” and a “worst” in provider motives and behaviors during the last days of fee-for-service payment. …

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Florida AG Opposes Bill Over Customary Charges

CEO SUMMARY: It was a surprise to the Florida Attorney General that a bill had surfaced in the Florida Legislature to amend the existing state law’s definition of usual and customary pricing to the Medicaid program. The bill would even make that change in definition retroactive. If this bill clears the legislature and becomes law, …

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Phlebotomy Contributes To Drop in Sepsis Mortality

CEO SUMMARY: When Intermountain Healthcare began a quality improvement program to address sepsis, its sepsis mortality rate was 20.2%, among the lowest in the nation. By 2007, all 15 of its hospitals had deployed this program. A breakthrough came in recent years, when a phlebotomist was added to the team and contributed new insights into …

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Newsmaker Interview: Matthew Hawkins

CEO SUMMARY: By now, most pathologists and clinical laboratory administrators recognize that effective use of information technology will be a critical success factor as healthcare systems transform to do population health management and to use “big data” with value-based payment models. As the provider of laboratory information systems to hundreds of the nation’s major hospitals, …

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Lab Benefit Management Bill Advances in FL Senate

CEO SUMMARY: To date, a bill to restrict how health insurers use lab benefit management systems such as UnitedHealthcare’s BeaconLBS, has been favorably received in the Florida Senate. But the bill may face opposition when presented to the Senate’s Appropriations Committee. In a report, the state Office of Insurance Regulation said that restricting the use …

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February 8, 2016 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

Microbiology’s most important reagent is undergoing a supply crunch and becoming more expensive. Agar production is being affected by two factors. One is the increased global demand for seaweed. The second are new restrictions on the trade of seaweed, intended to protect natural stocks of seaweed. In December, Thermo Fisher Scientific of Waltham, Massachusetts, said it …

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