March 14, 2022 Intelligence: Late-Breaking Lab News

Telehealth proved to be popular with Medicare patients during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported telehealth visits for Medicare beneficiaries increased in 2020 by an incredible 63 times—from approximately 840,000 in 2019 to 52.7 million! Federal health officials said in a news release that these figures will guide policymaking at HHS as the U.S. enters what appears to be a post-pandemic phase of COVID-19. Lab managers should develop a strategy for their lab to respond to the increased use of telehealth by patients, particularly a 63-time increase in telehealth usage by Medicare beneficiaries.

MORE ON: Concerns of Post-Pandemic Phase 

Laboratory information systems (LIS) are not meeting the expectations of a sizable amount of lab professionals, and that could have implications as the pandemic winds down, according to results from a new survey by XIFIN. For example, more than 30% of respondents said their LIS had gaps in its ability to meet testing needs. XIFIN categorized this finding as “a significant problem, considering the nation is moving to an endemic approach to infectious disease.” 


In sobering news, approximately one-third of pathologists describe being burned out on the job. The figures come from a report released by online publisher Medscape. Career fatigue seems to be more serious for women in pathology, as 46% of female pathologists reported burnout compared to one-quarter of male colleagues. The most frequent factors for burnout cited by pathologists were too many hours at work (62%), lack of respect from colleagues (49%), and lack of control in life (44%), according to Medscape. 


It seems Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO of Theranos, is getting as much attention in disgrace as she did when news media hailed her as a genius entrepreneur comparable to Steve Jobs of Apple. Hulu is streaming fresh new episodes of “the compelling drama series ‘The Dropout.’ ” Holmes is portrayed by Amanda Seyfried. For clinical laboratory managers who like to binge watch, four episodes have aired and more are scheduled.


John Martinson has joined StatLab Medical Products in McKinney, Texas, as its new Chief Operating Officer. Martinson was most recently Senior Vice President and Head of Global Operations at Ascensia Diabetes Care in Parsippany, N.J. Before that, he was Vice President of Global Product Supply at Bayer. 

That’s all the insider intelligence for this report.  Look for the next briefing on Monday, April 4, 2022. 




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