May 20, 2019 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

Canada faces a similar shortage of medical technologists (MTs) as exists in the United States. “We have reached the point now where some laboratories have been closed for weeks due to insufficient staffing, which is a cascading problem for patients and the healthcare system,” stated Maria Klement, President of the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science in an interview with Global News. It also reported that there are currently 14,000 members of CSMLS in Canada.

MORE ON: Med tech shortage in Canada

Klement also said, “About half of all medical laboratory technologists [in Canada] will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years. Shortages are already being felt in communities across Canada and the new supply of graduates will not be enough to offset retirements in virtually every province and territory.” Global News reported that 400 new students must be trained annually to stay up with these retirements.

FEDERAL JUDGE SENDS LAB REP TO JAIL FOR 4 YEARS

Former clinical laboratory sales representative Seth Rehfuss, 44, of the Somerset section of Franklin Township, N.J. is the first of three sales reps to be sentenced in a federal court case involving fraudulent lab tests. On May 10, a federal judge gave Rehfuss a 50-month sentence. Rehuss also agreed to pay restitution of $434,963 and forfeit an additional $66,844. Waiting to be sentenced are former sales reps Sheila Kahl, 47, of Ocean County, N.J., and Kenneth Johnson, 39, of Lorton, Va. Both have pled guilty and will be sentenced in coming weeks.

MORE ON: Lab Fraud

It was U.S. Attorney of the District of New Jersey, Craig Carpenito, who indicted Rehfuss, Kahl, and Johnson. His press release about Rehfuss’ sentencing said, “To get the tests authorized, Rehfuss used advertisements on Craigslist to recruit healthcare providers for the scheme. The healthcare providers were paid thousands of dollars per month by Rehfuss and others to sign their names to [laboratory test] requisition forms authorizing testing for patients they never examined or had any interaction with.” The press release said that two clinical laboratories performed lab tests that were billed to the Medicare program, but the labs were not named. This case is a reminder for lab executives and sales reps that U.S. attorneys are willing to criminally prosecute principals in medical labs that fail to follow federal law.

That’s all the insider intelligence for this report.
Look for the next briefing on Monday, June 10, 2019.

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how Sonic Healthcare USA is using clinical laboratory test data, combined with other patient information, to help physicians in ACOs achieve improved patient outcomes in chronic diseases like diabetes. Sonic is being paid part of the ACO’s shared savings for its contribution to better patient care and reduced health costs.

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