Every pathologist and clinical lab administrator should pay attention to two federal court decisions made recently in two different legal cases. One decision is bad news for the entire clinical lab industry. The other is bad news for lab companies that push compliance with federal anti-kickback laws.
The most important court decision came in the American
MOST PATHOLOGISTS WOULD AGREE THAT PATIENTS AND THEIR PHYSICIANS have every right to expect a timely, accurate lab test result. Stated differently, patients and physicians implicitly trust that a pathology laboratory in the United States will not make errors in specimen processing (technical component) and diagnosis (professional component).
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
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.
LABCORP, BRLI ISSUE REVISED GUIDANCE OF LOWER EARNINGS
IN RECENT WEEKS, at least two public lab companies have issued downward earnings guidance for 2014. These changes are based, in part, on expected reimbursement reductions from the Medicare program.
It was December 10 when Laboratory Corporation of America told investors that its full year 2013 earnings per share
CEO Summary: Pathologists at Ottawa Hospital not only must handle a large volume of specimens regularly, but are experiencing a 14% per year growth in the number of specimens. Last year, when the average turnaround time for a case was nine days, the pathology department embarked on a series of Lean and process improvement projects.
LEICA BIOSYSTEMS TO ACQUIRE APERIO
FOR THE SECOND TIME IN AS MANY YEARS, a global leader in histology systems and products has announced that it will acquire one of the leading digital pathology companies. This time it is Leica Biosystems of Nussloch, Germany, which will purchase Aperio Technologies, Inc., of Vista, California.
“For 20 years, our regional laboratory network here in Detroit has played an important role in helping member hospital laboratories build their lab outreach programs.”
—Jack Shaw, Executive Director, Joint Venture Hospital Laboratories
CEO Summary: During the 1990s, hospital laboratories in Detroit, Michigan (1992), and Seattle, Washington (1996), banded together to form regional laboratory networks. In both
THIS MONTH, THE NATION’S NEWEST “designed from scratch” clinical laboratory facility began operating in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the central laboratory of Allina Hospitals & Clinics and its design is rooted in Lean and similar process improvement and workflow principles.
The $29 million new facility consolidates laboratories from 12 locations in five different Allina buildings into
CEO SUMMARY: Pity the poor laboratory manager of today. Lab budgets are shrinking. It is difficult to staff adequate numbers of skilled medical technologists. Baby boomers are now retiring. At the same time, accreditation and licensure inspections are becoming tougher. Recently, an experienced laboratory management consultant polled her peers to identify the specific problems that