Here’s what you may have missed this week in the clinical lab world. It was a busy week…

Chronic Disease Management Program in New York City Uses EHRs to Help Physicians Improve Patient Care

Published: April 20 2012

As part of NYC’s PCIP, physicians utilize clinical laboratory testing more effectively to diagnose disease and monitor patients

Seven years into a targeted program to use clinical data to drive measurable improvement in the health of patients with chronic diseases, health officials in New York City are declaring the effort to be successful at meeting several important goals. Some healthcare experts say NYC’s innovative project provides valid insight into the future of American healthcare.

Some pathologists and clinical laboratory managers are already familiar with what is called the Primary Care Information Project (PCIP), organized and manage by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYDOHMH).

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Big Health Insurers Acquire Health IT Horsepower to Support Their Accountable Care Organizations

Published: April 18 2012

Actions by major insurers indicate that ACOs operated by hospitals will have competition

Until recently, most media coverage about nascent accountable care organizations (ACOs) centered on the plans of major hospitals and health systems to organize ACOs within their communities. Now comes news that major health insurers are making sizeable investments as they prepare to launch their own ACOs.

These developments could be auspicious for local clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups. It could mean that in many regions around the United States there will be ACOs operated by hospitals/health systems that compete against ACOs operated by health insurance companies. In turn, that would mean more customers for lab testing services in these cities and towns.

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Experts Predict Explosive Growth in Molecular Diagnostics and Next-Generation Gene Sequencing for Clinical Pathology Laboratories

Published: April 16 2012

Upcoming Executive War College conference features experts on molecular and genetic testing

Explosive rates of growth in clinical use of molecular diagnostics assays seen in recent years are about to be matched by a new opportunity for medical laboratory testing. Experts predict the coming “big thing” in clinical laboratory and anatomic pathology will be next-generation gene sequencing (NGS).

This should be welcome news for financially-beleaguered pathology groups and clinical lab organizations. Lab tests that incorporate next-generation gene sequencing technologies are expected to offer clinicians greater value by making it possible to more accurately detect and characterize disease at earlier stages. For this reason, these lab tests are expected to be adequately reimbursed by most government and private payers.

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