July 05, 2011 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Two laboratory companies based in Spokane, Washington, were recently recognized in a list of Washington State’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2011. One was Incyte Pathology, Inc., an anatomic pathology group. The other was Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories (PAML). The list was compiled by Seattle Business magazine. Over 300 companies were involved in the selection process, which took five months to complete.

YALE STUDY SAYS BREAST CANCER ER TESTS MISCLASSIFY PATIENTS

Estrogen Receptor (ER) testing for breast cancer patients was the subject of a study by researchers at the Yale Cancer Center. They determined that between 10% and 20% of breast cancers classified as ER negative by conventional test methods are actually positive. These findings were published in the June 28 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The study team was led by David Rimm, M.D., Professor of Pathology at Yale School of Medicine. His team is working to develop a new method for standardizing ER measurement. They are developing a “novel method to detect the estrogen receptor that uses fluorescent detection in conjunction with a series of standard controls.” Their work indicates that this method is more sensitive and reproducible.

PHYSICIAN MARK-UP OF LAB TESTS IS GLOBAL ISSUE

Physician mark-up of laboratory tests performed by an outside medical laboratory is not unique to the United States. The same practice exists in Bangladesh, where it is called the “commission trade.” Pathologists in that country are speaking out against the practice and calling for both “unified fees” for pathologists and quality ratings for diagnostics centers. As reported by bdnews23.com, a news outlet in Bangladesh, these issues were discussed at the Bangladesh Society of Pathologists’ (BSP) 29th national convention. Pathologist Professor M.D. Shamiul Islam Sadi, General Secretary of the BSP, said “It’s unethical to prescribe medical tests in exchange of commission from the diagnostic center.” Sadi also bemoaned the lack of a national accreditation or licensing program in Bangladesh, noting that “As there is no accreditation and unified fee system, different diagnostic centers charge differently for same services.”

Dark Daily Update

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

…growing criticism of federal rules for accountable care organizations (ACOs). Critics include the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Hospital Association (AHA).

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

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