DARK Daily Laboratory and Pathology NewsDARK Daily is an e-briefing service providing up-to-the minute news of relevance for anyone working in diagnostic medicine, from clinical laboratories and pathology groups to lab industry suppliers and diagnostic technology companies. DARK Daily is part of The Dark Intelligence Group, Inc. and is dedicated to bringing useful business and management intelligence to laboratory managers, pathologists and diagnostic executives. Our recognized expertise in the strategic direction of laboratory medicine and the management of laboratories is available through DARK Daily, The Dark Report, free White Papers, Lab Resource Directory, the Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management, Lab Quality Confab, and strategic consulting services.
Growth in High Deductible Health Plans Cause Savvy Clinical Labs and Pathology Groups to Collect Full Payment at Time of Service
Medical laboratories can increase revenue and reduce bad debt by using technology to verify patient ID and insurance information before a specimen is provided
Due to a need to collect payment directly from the growing number of patients with high-deductible health plans, many clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups are experiencing flat or even declining cash flow. This issue has medical lab CFOs scrambling to find solutions.
Moreover, this problem is noticeably greater in 2014 than it was in 2013. One factor behind this worrisome trend is the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As of January 1, most newly insured patients enrolled under ACA have high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) that require substantial copayments when patients receive healthcare services. Employers are also increasingly shifting their employees to HDHPs, as well.
Research Team at University of California Santa Barbara Achieves In Vivo Monitoring of Therapeutic Drugs with Technology That Pathologists Could Adapt for Clinical Diagnostic Purposes
Published study involved a demonstration of the MEDIC device’s ability to measure therapeutic drugs in animals, as well as human whole blood
Researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) are making rapid progress in designing a biosensor that can measure therapeutic levels of a prescription drug in real time within the patient. This technology has interesting implications for anatomic pathology and clinical laboratory testing.
The research team has developed a small electronic device that continuously tracks the level of medicines (doxorubicin and kanamycin) in an animal’s bloodstream. For pathologists and other physicians, this wireless tool can perhaps one day be used to help transform how drugs are chosen and monitored in patients. continue reading
CVS MinuteClinic to Use Epic EMR in Support of Nationwide Growth Plan, also Opens Possibility of Accessing Clinical Laboratory Data from Local Providers
It’s an interesting statement about how CVS, the national pharmacy chain, believes it can expand its MinuteClinic health services while also integrating data feeds with HIEs
In another demonstration of how fast healthcare is transforming, the pharmacy chain CVS Caremark Corp. will implement the Epic electronic medical record system (EMR) in its MinuteClinic sites nationwide. This means MinuteClinic clinicians will be using the same EMR as a growing number of hospitals and office-based physicians.
What may make this development noteworthy for pathologists and clinical laboratory managers is that use of the EpicCare EMR system sold by Epic Systems Corp. of Verona, Wisconsin, is that MinuteClinic sites will make it easier for CVS to pass clinical data it gathers to regional health information exchanges (HIEs). continue reading
Pathologist Michael LaPosata, M.D., Delivers the Message about Diagnostic Management Teams and Clinical Laboratory Testing to Attendees at Arizona Meeting
Conducted by Sunquest, the meeting introduced medical laboratory professionals to ideas and improved patient outcomes that result when pathologists actively help physicians select the right lab tests and understand how to act upon the results
PHOENIX, ARIZONA—Most pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists are quick to agree that overutilization of medical laboratory tests is a major problem in healthcare. But underutilization of medical lab tests is an equally significant problem. That’s the message delivered here last Monday by pathologist Michael Laposata, M.D., Ph.D., during a presentation he delivered at the Sunquest Executive Summit.
Laposata, who recently assumed new duties as the Chair of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, was speaking about the value of what he calls “diagnostic management teams,” or DMTs. In recent years, while at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Laposata and his colleagues introduced DMTs in support of several medical specialties. These DMTs proved quite successful at improving patient outcomes, while reducing the overall cost per healthcare encounter for these patients.
To Help Physicians and Patients, Medical Laboratories with BRCA Breast Cancer Tests Are Posting Mutation Data into ClinVar’s BRCA Database
Innovative use of crowdsourcing allows pathologists and genetic scientists to create a sizeable database of BRCA mutations that is accessible to clinicians and patients
There’s a new development in the longstanding battle over proprietary healthcare data versus public sharing of such information. Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers will be interested to learn that, when it comes to genetic testing of the BRCA mutation involved in breast cancer, a public data base of mutations is growing so rapidly that it may become the world’s largest repository of such information.
It was last year when the Supreme Court ruled in the gene patent case of Association of Molecular Pathology versus Myriad Genetics that human genes were not patentable. Following that decision, some financial analysts stated that Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:MYGN) retained a competitive advantage over other medical laboratories due to its huge database of mutations in the BRCA genes. (See Dark Daily, “Supreme Court Strikes down Myriad Gene Patents in Unanimous Vote; Decision Is Expected to Benefit Clinical Pathology Laboratories,” July 1, 2013.) continue reading
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