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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

Development of Frozen Section Technology is Subject of Newspaper Story Highlighting the Value Pathology Brings to Medicine

Newspaper in Rochester, Minnesota, tells the story of how the 19th century use of frozen sections by pathologists at Mayo Clinic played key role in developing intra-operative diagnostics

It’s a good thing for pathologists each time a local newspaper runs a story that highlights the contribution of pathology to the practice of medicine. Since pathologists typically don’t see patients, media stories about the pathologist’s role in diagnosing disease are effective ways to educate consumers.

This was the case when Rochester, Minnesota-based recently ran a story about—who else—but the pathology laboratory at the Mayo Clinic. The story highlighted the early development of the frozen section technique (FST) at Mayo Clinic. This newspaper story created community exposure about the role of pathology and pathologists in delivering quality healthcare. continue reading

To Find Patients at Highest Risk, Hospitals Combine Consumer Data with Clinical Information—Including Clinical Laboratory Results

Health systems using big data in this manner include Carolinas Healthcare System and UPMC Health

Big data is all the rage in healthcare these days. However, one interesting development in this field is how hospitals are integrating consumer data with clinical data to identify patients at high risk. For example, if the post-surgical heart patient buys a package of cigarettes, some hospitals say they want to know.

This is a trend with interesting implications for clinical laboratories. For example, will hospitals using big data in this fashion want to include medical laboratory test results in the mix of information they collect and analyze on their patients? If so, are there ethical issues associated with using such lab test data in this manner? continue reading

Wall Street Journal Writes about Federal Investigation of Health Diagnostic Laboratory and Certain Specialty Medical Lab Test Companies

Did “processing fees” paid by certain clinical laboratory companies to physicians represent an inducement that violated federal anti-kickback laws?

Once again, allegations of fraudulent practices at a fast-growing clinical laboratory company have made national headlines. This time it was a front-page story in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that last week discussed the controversy surrounding Health Diagnostic Laboratory (HDL) of Richmond, Virginia.

According to the WSJ story, federal healthcare authorities are looking into a practice by HDL and other medical laboratory companies of paying physicians “to process” blood specimens collected in their offices. As described by the WSJ, this “processing fee” was as much as $20 and included a $3 portion for the venipuncture. continue reading

Understanding Today’s Trends in Healthcare and the Clinical Laboratory and Pathology Testing Marketplace

Recent White Papers detail solutions for implementing new payment strategies for medical laboratories and pathology groups

Clinical diagnostic laboratories, pathology groups and healthcare institutions are carrying significant and potentially unsustainable levels of unreimbursed services. Although bad debt and uncompensated care in the healthcare industry are not new, they have been increasing at the same time that downward pressure is being applied to reimbursement.

Medical laboratories and pathology groups are also facing enormous levels of change in their clinical, regulatory and financial environments. As the Affordable Care Act is implemented, laboratories see downward pressure on reimbursement at both the federal and payer level, coupled with increased emphasis on efficiency and quality.
continue reading

More Media Reports of Health Insurers’ Reluctance to Reimburse for Genetic Tests, Thus Angering Many Patients and Causing Medical Laboratories to Go Unpaid

Pathologists should take note that an increasing number of patients who want genetic tests are complaining when they learn their insurance plan will not pay for such tests

Concerned about the increased cost of genetic tests, health insurers are becoming reluctant to pay for many types of molecular diagnostics and gene tests. When refusing to pay for these tests, however, they face a buzz saw of angry patients—many of whom see a genetic test as their last resort for a diagnosis and selection of a therapy that might just work for them.

Reuters recently reported that health insurance companies are reluctant to pay providers for genetic-sequencing tests until more research becomes available. This is a sign for pathologists and clinical laboratory managers that enough patients have been affected by this situation to justify news coverage by a major news source. continue reading

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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