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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

How Smart Clinical Laboratories and Genetic Testing Labs Are Collecting More Revenue by Pricing Tests to Meet the Expectations of Patients

By rethinking how their medical labs relate to health insurers, physicians, and patients, a handful of progressive lab companies are enjoying increased revenue while also lifting patient and payer satisfaction

There is widespread agreement across the clinical laboratory industry that it is becoming ever more difficult to have health plans reimburse claims for common tests, molecular assays, and genetic tests in a reliable and consistent manner. Many lab companies report that they are experiencing high rates of denied claims. Moreover—even for claims reimbursed by payers—the amount paid will vary on claims for the same type of lab test.

“Essentially, on this point, the consistent theme we hear from many lab companies—particularly those labs with a menu of proprietary, specialized molecular and genetic tests—is that it is now almost a crap-shoot to submit lab test claims to many payers and see timely and predictable reimbursement for those claims,” stated Robert L. Michel, Editor-In-Chief of Dark Daily’s sister publication, The Dark Report. “One could say that, today, the function of billing patients and payers for clinical lab testing has become financial quicksand for most labs. By following traditional coding, billing, and collection practices, in today’s healthcare market, they find themselves sinking steadily deeper in this financial quicksand.” continue reading

Johnson & Johnson Investing to Learn How to Predict or Prevent Disease; Studies Could Lead to Clinical Laboratory Tests that Detect Disease Earlier and More Accurately

COPD and gestational diabetes research are the subject of two new projects aimed at intercepting diseases prior to onset and identifying preventive treatments

Can new insights into the human genome make it possible to diagnose disease much earlier—even before symptoms can be observed? Multiple research programs are targeting this possibility. One example is being conducted by Johnson & Johnson (J&J). The American multinational medical-device company wants to leverage recent developments in genetics, data analysis, and its worldwide partnerships, in an attempt to answer two profound questions:

• Can the earliest signals of disease be identified; and

• What treatments will assist researchers who are trying to prevent diseases?

To pursue these two goals, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is expanding its existing research project into disease prediction and prevention, which currently involves 24 global partners, according to an Associated Press March story. continue reading

Improvements to Fitness Wearables Help Stream Data from Consumers’ Homes to EHRs and Clinical Pathology Laboratories

As technologies used by fitness wearables mature, medical laboratories will want to develop ways to access and process the flood of data that will become available

Point-of-care testing and remote patient monitoring are two technologies that could be disruptive to the clinical laboratory industry, particularly if use of these devices was to reduce the volume of patient specimen that are referred to the nation’s large, centralized medical laboratories.

This is one reason why savvy pathologists watch the stream of new products designed to allow athletes and consumers to monitor their fitness and other characteristics of good health. These devices are at the very front of the curve for remote monitoring of an athlete’s performance during training and competition, as well as enabling consumers to track different parameters of their health. What’s a toy for today’s sophisticated consumers could later be easily adopted for clinical diagnostic purposes.

One great example of how swiftly technology advances are changing remote diagnostic monitoring involves heart rate monitors. It wasn’t long ago that even basic heart rate monitors were a pricey purchase for consumers. But thanks to strong interest in gathering healthcare data, costs are dropping. continue reading

Journalists Take Home Top National Awards for Their Work Covering Theranos and the Clinical Laboratory Industry

Honors highlight concern among public and press over potential harm to patients of the medical laboratory industry and the need for more transparency in the quality of care delivered by pathologists and lab scientists

John Carreyrou, Investigative Reporter, and Mike Siconolfi, Senior Editor, both with The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), took home the prestigious National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation Journalism Award on Monday, May 2, for their work covering Theranos, Inc.

This is the third time this year Carreyrou has won the award in the General Circulation Print Journalism category for his work covering Theranos, the embattled clinical laboratory company in Palo Alto, Calif., owned by CEO Elizabeth Holmes.

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Nearly One-Third of Traditional Medicare Payments Now Based on Value-Based Reimbursement and Alternative Payment Models

Faster than expected transition from fee-for-service healthcare should grab attention of clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups who face financial unknowns under new payment systems

Clinical laboratory executives should take note of a key financial fact. The transition from fee-for-service healthcare to value-based reimbursement is occurring at a faster clip than the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) anticipated last year when federal officials announced a plan to tie 30% of traditional Medicare spending to alternative payments models by the end of 2016.

That means the transition away from fee-for-service payment for medical laboratory tests and other healthcare services is moving ahead of schedule. As evidence, HHS recently announced it reached the 30% target at the start of 2016, nearly a year ahead of the schedule laid out when the Obama Administration outlined a plan to reward healthcare providers based on quality of care rather than the volume of services they provide.

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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.

The Dark Report

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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