GAO Report Shows Medicare Advantage Plans Could Be a Disadvantage for Seniors with Health Issues; Narrow Networks Continue to Impact Smaller Clinical Laboratories

Tight provider networks have some seniors dropping private plans after losing access to ‘preferred doctors and hospitals’ and experiencing issues with ‘access to care’ Medicare Advantage Plans continue to rise in popularity. That trend has implications for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups because private insurers running Medicare Advantage plans tend to have narrow or exclusive lab networks. Thus, as Medicare patients shift from Medicare Part B (which pays any provider a...

Medicare Clinical Laboratory Price Cuts and Cost-cutting Predicted to be 2018’s Two Biggest Trends for Medical Laboratories in the United States

To offset the loss of revenue from the price cuts to Medicare Part B clinical laboratory tests, labs will need to aggressively—but wisely—slash costs to balance their budgets Any day now, Medicare officials will announce the Medicare Part B Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) for 2018. Both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) have issued reports indicating that these fee cuts will total $400...

Genetic Testing Company Invitae Now Contacting Physicians about Possible False Negative Test Results That It Reported in Recent Months

In recent weeks, company representatives began informing physicians at cancer centers and hospitals about a problem with a specific variant in the MSH2 gene Invitae Corporation (NYSE:NVTA), a genetic testing company in San Francisco, has told some physicians and clinicians in recent weeks that it has reported false-negative results. Clinical laboratory professionals with knowledge of the facts in this case believe the cause of the false negative results may have gone undetected for months and...

Healthcare Big Data Drives a New Round of Collaborations between Hospitals, Health Systems, and Care Management Companies

Recently-announced partnerships want to use big data to improve patient outcomes and lower costs; clinical laboratory test data will have a major role in these efforts In the race to use healthcare big data to improve patient outcomes, several companies are using acquisitions and joint ventures to beef up and gain access to bigger pools of data. Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers have an interest in this trend, because medical laboratory test data will be a large proportion of the...

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: • gingivitis; • periodontitis; and, • dental caries. Samples that are sent to medical labs and pathology laboratories are more often blood...

NIST’s New Standard Genetic Reference Specimen Promises to Increase Accuracy of Clinical Pathology Laboratories Using Next-Generation Sequencing Technology

Sequencing this new DNA standard reference material enables medical laboratories to verify if their DNA test results are accurate To reduce the variability in genetic test results that has been observed across different clinical laboratories and pathology groups, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has introduced a new standard DNA reference. This is another step forward to improve transparency in the quality and accuracy of genetic test results produced by medical...