WOW! YOU HAVE TWO BLOCKBUSTER STORIES covered in this issue, which expanded into extra pages to bring you all the news and detailed analysis. Our lead story, on the facing page, is first news in the laboratory industry of criminal indictments of three ex-UroCor executives for laboratory sales and marketing practices that violated Medicare anti-kickback laws.
However, before knowledge of the federal indictments reached us, we had planned to devote this entire issue, as well as our August 9th issue, to a serious trend: specialist physicians taking active steps to capture revenues from the anatomic pathology services provided to their patients. It’s a phenomenon only now getting serious attention within the pathology profession. But, until you read our coverage on this topic in this and our next issue, you probably had no idea about its explosive growth and its potential to threaten the long-term financial stability of hospital-based pathology group practices.
It’s unusual for a story to break which “rocks” the entire laboratory industry. In my view, criminal indictments of ex-UroCor executives for using sales and marketing tactics that violated Medicare anti-kickback laws certainly qualifies. The federal attorney hopes to convince a jury, that, among other types of misdeeds, UroCor’s use of deeply-discounted lab test pricing and waiving charges for tests done as an out-of-network provider were inducements to certain urologist-clients and thus violated the law. Since lots of labs around the United States commonly offer discounted pricing to some classes of clients, the outcome of this trial may trigger considerable changes in compliance policies and enforcement.
The exploding interest by specialist physicians to bring anatomic pathology revenues in-house is a story which will also “rock” a wide cross section of the pathology profession. You will read our coverage of this trend beginning on page 12. Of particular interest to many will be our exclusive intelligence about a brand new lab scheme adopted by some specialist groups: the anatomic pathology condominium laboratory complex. Such sites are mushrooming in Florida and Texas, attracting specialist group lab owners from states as far away as Missouri and South Carolina. If that sounds odd to you, then you are sure to be surprised about other details of the pathology condominium laboratory scheme!