January 30, 2012 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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It’s a sign of the times and a warning to clinical labs and lab industry vendors. Money is short at some community hospitals— meaning bills are going unpaid. In Birmingham, Alabama, the Birmingham News reported that Cooper Green Mercy Hospital is $1 million behind in its bills. Among the creditors mentioned were Beckman Coulter Corporation and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (possibly for reference laboratory testing services). The Birmingham News stated that the accounts payable list for medical and laboratory accounts include “unpaid bills for hematology supplies; chemistry supplies; blood supplies and a number of other areas that range in amounts [to individual vendors] from $461 to $365,961, according to the records.”

MORE ON: Cooper Green Mercy Hospital

This 121-bed community hospital is getting less funding from the Jefferson County Commission. For the past six months, it has only been able to draw funds from the county’s indigent care fund, whereas earlier it could also get money from the county’s general fund. Jefferson County was forced into a high-profile bankruptcy in November 2011. The county listed $4.2 billion in debt and is the largest municipal bankruptcy ever filed in the United States. Financial experts predict that more cash-strapped municipalities may be forced to take similar steps in coming years. That will directly affect healthcare providers, including laboratories, located in these communities.

CORRECTION

The December 19, 2011, issue of THE DARK REPORT, dis- cussed the ISO 15189 accreditation of the Spectra Laboratories, Inc., lab facility in Milpitas, California. On page 18, it was stated that both Spectra Lab facilities—in Milpitas and in Rockleigh New Jersey—were also accredited by The Joint Commission. This should be corrected to state that only the Milpitas lab has accreditation from The Joint Commission.

LABCORP HELPS ABU DHABI BUILD REFERENCE LAB

Abu Dhabi opened its new National Reference Laboratory on January 22, 2012. The press release for this opening stated that the new facility was “a partnership between Mubadala Healthcare and the Laboratory Corporation of America.” The arrangement is another example of the globalization of clinical laboratory testing.

Dark Daily Update

dark_daily_logoHave you caught the latest e-briefings from DARK Daily? If so, then you’d know about…

…how the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) services will make its Medicare data-base available to the public. This will make it possible to see the outcomes of hospitals and individual doctors for the first time.

You can get the free DARK Daily e-briefings by signing up at www.darkdaily.com.

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