September 08, 2008 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Here’s an update on the issue of why pathologists working in independent laboratories will not be paid under the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). (See TDR, August 18, 2008.) Last week, Donald McLeod, a spokesman at the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, returned our call to discuss the issue and explain why CMS would not make PQRI bonus payments this year to independent labs currently reporting quality information for breast and colon cancer cases. According to McLeod, under federal statute, independent labs were not entitled to the PQRI bonus payments “because they do not treat patients.” McLeod stated that PQRI bonuses go only to physicians in group practices who treat patients.


Last week, Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. (BRLI) of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, reported earnings for its third quarter ending July 31, 2008. BRLI posted an impressive 18% growth in revenue, at $77.8 million in Q3-08 versus $66.0 million in Q3-07. Patient volume was up by 9% and esoteric testing comprised 48% of revenues for the quarter. BRLI saw revenue per requisition increase to $68.08, which is 9% larger than revenue per requisition in Q3-07.


BRLI has grown at a double digit pace for almost a decade. What sets it apart from its much larger national competitors is that BRLI is generating most of this growth from the combination of a productive sales force and the introduction of specialized esoteric tests. Lab acquisitions have played a lesser role in BRLI’s growth over the years. In the New York City metropolitan area, BRLI provides routine and esoteric testing services to office-based physicians. It also has a separate sales program that sells its esoteric testing programs nationally.


  • Next week, Rick Panning becomes the new Vice President, Laboratory Services for Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis , Minnesota. Panning was most recently CEO of the  American Red Cross Region based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Prior to that, Panning was President, Laboratory Services at Fairview Health Systems in Minneapolis.

Dark Daily Update

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

…how a single certification is coming for Medical Technologists (MTs) and Clinical Laboratory Scientists (CLSs) as ASCP-BOR and NCALP announce a letter of intent to unify certification.

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