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DARK Daily Laboratory and Pathology News

DARK 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.

Latest E-Briefings

In India, Professionally-trained Pathologists Intensify Calls for the Government to Crackdown on Unregulated Medical Laboratories

Newspapers in this populous nation regularly publish stories about clinical laboratories that produce inaccurate lab test results that cause patient harm

In the healthcare systems of many countries across the globe, one common issue involves the accuracy and reliability of medical laboratory test results produced by clinical pathology laboratories. In most of these countries, a lack of effective government regulation is a primary reason why shady lab operators continue to provide questionable lab test results to patients.

In India, professionally-trained pathologists and laboratory scientists have repeatedly called for tougher government regulation of medical laboratories, along with more diligent inspections and enforcement actions by the authorities. Newspapers in India regularly publish stories of the medical lab enforcement actions that do happen. continue reading

Experts Say Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) Produced Mixed Results in 2014 Even as Enrollment Continues to Grow Significantly

Clinical laboratories and pathology groups can expect to see more growth in the number of patients served by ACOs and that will require labs to have a new pricing strategy

Will ACOs be the next big thing in American healthcare? Many people are betting that will be true as the number of ACOs continues to increase. Some reports indicate that as many as 750 Medicare and private ACOs were in operation as of early 2015, compared to about 250 ACOs in 2013.

Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers watching the ACO trend will find it significant that Medicare ACOs now serve about 5.6 million beneficiaries. According to a report issued by Oliver Wyman, that is about 11% of all Medicare beneficiaries. Providers in these ACOs are paid under a different arrangement than the long-established Part B fee-for-service price schedule.

The big question mark about ACOs is whether they can deliver significant cost savings while improving patient outcomes. This summer, officials at the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported on the savings generated by the agency’s pilot ACO programs. The two main accountable care organization programs are the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and the Pioneer ACO Program. continue reading

Clinical Laboratories Considering Total Laboratory Automation Are Increasingly Using Lean Methods to Develop Proposals, Select a Vendor, and Implement the Solution

Top-performing medical laboratories are using Lean to help craft RFPs, evaluate TLA options, then implement the automated systems to achieve optimal quality and productivity

In recent years, there’s been a big change in how clinical laboratories purchase total laboratory automation (TLA) solutions, and then integrate this automation into their lab operations. Using a strategy that is somewhat off the radar, top-performing medical laboratories will purchase and install TLA only after applying the principles of Lean to the physical layout and overall workflow within their labs.

This development demonstrates the growing acceptance of Lean, Six Sigma, and continuous process improvement methods at hospital-based laboratories and independent clinical laboratories.

As lab budgets get squeezed down each year and specimen volume increases, pathologists and clinical lab managers face the twin challenges of reducing costs while increasing the quality of their lab testing services. continue reading

New Tool to Identify Tumor Heterogeneity Could Help Pave Way for Personalized Cancer Therapies and Help Pathologists Add Value for Oncologists

Ohio State University study shows correlation between genetic variability among cancer cells within tumors and the survival of patients with head-and-neck cancers

Anatomic pathologists and clinical laboratories  may gain a tool to identify tumor heterogeneity. This would enable them to ultimately guide personalized cancer therapies if a new method for measuring genetic variability within a tumor and predicting outcomes is confirmed in future studies.

Scientists Seek Cause of Resistance to Cancer Treatment

The new tool was dubbed “MATH” by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center–Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute  (OSUCCC–James). MATH is the scoring method they developed and stands for  mutant-allele tumor heterogeneity. MATH was used to measure the genetic variability among cancer cells within tumors from 305 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma  (HNSCC), treated at multiple institutions, from The Cancer Genome Atlas.

In announcing the study results, OSUCCC-James stated  that cancers that showed high genetic variability— called “intra-tumor heterogeneity”—correlated with lower patient survival.

James Rocco, MD, PhD, Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and his colleagues, used MATH values “to document a relation between intra-tumor heterogeneity and overall survival in any type of cancer.” continue reading

Dental Plaque Could Lead to Clinical Laboratory Testing for Biomarkers to Identify Health Risks

Researchers have found that isolating a particular gene within the oral microbiome can reveal a huge amount of useful diagnostic information about a person’s health

Most people don’t think of dental plaque when they think about clinical laboratories. For the vast majority of people, the only diseases that dental plaque bring to mind are those of the mouth:

periodontitis; and,
dental caries.

Samples that are sent to medical labs and pathology laboratories are more often blood or tissue. However, that could be changing, thanks in part to the work being done at the Oral Microbiome and Metagenomics Research Lab (OMMR) at the University of Toronto. continue reading

Daily E-Briefings

DARK Daily

DARK Daily is a free e-briefing service that provides one short, easy-to-read news item every weekday, highlighting noteworthy developments in the clinical laboratory industry. First alerts to important news events, incisive assessment of best-practice breakthroughs, and strategic insights on important trends make these e-briefings timely and invaluable. Sign up for the DARK Daily today and receive the special report Trends In Clinical Pathology Laboratory Management free.

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Since its founding in 1995, The Dark Report has been the laboratory industry’s most reliable source for useful business intelligence and innovations in the management of clinical laboratories and pathology group practices. Widely-read and much discussed, The Dark Report is respected as a source of knowledge and information that allows lab administrators, pathologists, and industry executives to be first to learn about the latest facts and trends that affect medical laboratories of all kinds.

Professional Services

Strategic Consulting

With a demonstrated track record of success, Robert Michel and the team at The Dark Intelligence Group, Inc. deliver strategic insight and market analysis that directly leads to increased revenues, improved profitability, and operational excellence. Having continuously worked with and visited laboratories, pathology groups, and lab industry vendors for more than 12 years, Robert Michel brings a unique set of skills and experience to any strategic challenge or opportunity.

Meeting Facilitation

Energize your next public meeting, strategic retreat, or corporate event. Widely-recognized and often asked back for a second and third year, Robert Michel has a recognized ability to help audiences get more from the speakers and advance their knowledge and understanding about key trends and management innovations. One- and two-day management retreats are a specialty.

Public Presentations

For a dynamic and knowledgeable public speaker to turbo-charge your next meeting, contact The Dark Intelligence Group. When it comes to management of clinical laboratories and pathology group practices, Robert Michel and his colleagues are consistently ranked among the industry’s keenest minds.

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