CEO SUMMARY: In the span of four days in September, Quest Diagnostics agreed to buy two lab companies and the lab testing service line of a third firm. In August, it purchased wellness company Provant Health, which had earlier filed a bankruptcy action. Each of these transactions helps Quest concentrate more on proprietary products and
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A diagnostic test is any kind of medical test performed to aid in the diagnosis or detection of disease. For example, such a test may be used to confirm that a person is free from disease, or to fully diagnose a disease, including to sub-classify it regarding severity and susceptibility to treatment. Diagnostic tests help physicians make clinical decisions for patient care.
Some diagnostic tests are parts of a physical examination that require only simple tools in the hands of a skilled practitioner, and can be performed in an office environment. Some other tests require elaborate equipment used by medical technologists in clinical laboratories, or the use of a sterile operating theater environment.
Some tests require samples of tissue or body fluids to be sent off to a pathology lab for further analysis. Some simple chemical tests, such as urine pH, can be measured directly in the doctor’s office.
The validity of such test results produced in each laboratory is entirely dependent on the measures employed before, during, and after each assay. Consistency in the production of good results requires an overall program that includes quality assurance, quality control, and quality assessment.
Diagnostic tests can be classified into three categories: invasive, minimally invasive and non-invasive.
Every test that shows an association between test results and the target disease is potentially useful. If it is not on its own thought to be useful, then a combination of it with other test results and/or data can potentially lead to a post-test probability that is thought to be high enough to rule the diagnosis in or low enough to rule the diagnosis out.
Companion diagnostics have also been developed to preselect patients for specific treatments based on their own biology, where such targeted therapy may hold promise in personalized treatment of diseases such as cancer.
Growing acceptance of companion diagnostics is a trend with the potential to greatly increase the value that clinical pathology laboratory testing delivers to physicians, patients, and payers. It has become increasingly common for pharmaceutical companies to make agreements with in vitro diagnostics (IVD) manufacturers to develop a companion diagnostic test specifically for a therapeutic drug under development by that pharmaceutical company.
As most pathologists and clinical managers know, use of a companion diagnostic test is expected to add precision to the physician’s decision to prescribe therapeutic drugs.
DURING HER ADDRESS TO THE ANNUAL MEETING of the American Clinical Laboratory Association meeting in March, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) explained why she and others in Congress had developed the Diagnostic Accuracy and Innovation Act (DAIA), a discussion draft that would give the FDA authority to regulate laboratory developed and in vitro diagnostic tests. At
CEO SUMMARY: Innovative clinical labs and pathology groups are absorbing this year’s Medicare Part B price cuts while continuing to pursue opportunities to add value. A common theme from many speakers at last week’s Executive War College in New Orleans is that the lab must get mastery of its LIS and informatics specifically to enable
IN PREPARED REMARKS at a clinical lab industry meeting last month, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, outlined steps the federal Food and Drug Administration would take to reduce the regulatory burden on labs that develop next-generation gene sequencing and lab-developed tests. He also explained some of the ways that the agency could be more flexible
This is an excerpt from a 2,920-word article in the March 26, 2018, issue of THE DARK REPORT. The complete article is available for a limited time to all readers, and available at all times to paid members of the Dark Intelligence Group.
CEO SUMMARY: Here’s the first look for the lab industry at an important
CEO SUMMARY: A disruptive force that involves precision medicine, pharmaceutical companies, and venture capital investors is poised to reshape the clinical laboratory industry. Genetic knowledge makes it possible to match cancer drugs to specific mutations. Pharma companies and professional investors recognize that control of diagnostic technologies and companion diagnostic tests enable them to gain better access
CEO SUMMARY: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the FDA wants to reduce the regulatory burden on developers of next-generation sequencing (NGS) and laboratory-developed tests (LTDs). He also wants to give the FDA more flexibility in how it conducts clinical analysis and validation. To do so, the agency would work with third parties, such as the
THERE IS NO BETTER WAY TO UNDERSTAND HOW THINGS ARE CHANGING within the house of laboratory medicine than to survey current news. Understanding why and how breaking news stories are indicators of deeply-rooted and forceful trends is essential for lab administrators and pathologists who want to keep their labs positioned to offer sophisticated and financially-sustainable
MIXED IN THE BAD NEWS concerning the proposed Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule for 2018, there is some good news regarding what the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposes to pay for certain advanced diagnostic tests.
After analyzing the proposed fee schedule, Quorum Consulting of San Francisco, reported, as other analysts have concluded, that CMS
CEO SUMMARY: In more than 40 presentations by 55 speakers, two big themes dominated the 11th annual Lab Quality Confab in New Orleans last week. One theme is the urgent need to cut clinical laboratory costs. The second theme is the need for both clinical labs and anatomic pathology groups to deliver more value to