Failure to Heed Patients’ Privacy Requests Raises ‘Big Data’ Concerns in England: Offers Lessons for How Clinical Pathology Lab Test Data Should Be Protected in U.S.

National Health Service agency admits to releasing information on 700,000 patients who opted out of nation’s new centralized medical-information database In the United States, the debate is ongoing about how healthcare data is used while at the same time protecting patient privacy. The outcome of this debate will be increasingly important for medical laboratories because—in order to deliver more value—labs will want to combine lab test data with other sources of clinical information. Thus, a...

Clinical Pathology Labs Take Note: Death March for Fee-For-Service Payment Model Continues as Support for Change Gathers Steam

Payment reform unlikely to require legislation or raft of new regulations, but shift to value-based payment model will cost clinical labs and pathology groups Today there is wide recognition in healthcare that the days of fee-for-service (FFS) medicine are numbered. But what is less certain is how fast government and private payers will introduce other reimbursement models, such as bundled payments and budgeted payments. Clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups likely will be the...

Healthcare Strategist Predicts that Skyrocketing Costs of Cancer Care May Soon Exceed the Value of New Medical Laboratory Tests and Therapeutic Drugs for Cancer

With cancer care costs soaring, will health insurers be asking whether the patient outcomes justify new and expensive diagnostic and therapeutic advances? Medical laboratory companies offering expensive molecular tests for cancer and pharmaceutical companies that sell super-expensive cancer drugs are ready to hit the financial wall with payers and the healthcare system. That’s the opinion of Paul Keckley, Ph.D, a widely-read healthcare strategist. Keckley warns that the cost of cancer care...

Health Diagnostic Laboratory Puts Itself Up for Sale as Virginia Medical Lab Company Solicits Bids for Auction

HDL also got approval to question executives from UnitedHealthcare in court over unpaid claims, its third dispute with a health insurance company Following a string of major setbacks, Health Diagnostic Laboratory (HDL) of Richmond, Virginia, put itself up for sale last week. This action comes after HDL’s announcement in April that it would pay more than $100 million to settle charges with federal investigators that it violated the False Claims Act. Then, early last month, the clinical...

World’s Largest Genetic Study in Iceland Produced New Insights into Gene Function and Disease Predisposition that Could Lead to New Clinical Laboratory Tests

Researchers sequenced the entire genomes of 2,636 Icelanders and gained useful insights into how human genes evolve and mutate Over the past 15 years, Iceland has managed to be at the forefront of genetic research tied to personalized medicine and new biomarkers for diagnostics and therapeutics. This is true because, as most pathologists know, Iceland has a small population that has seen little immigration over the past 1,000 years, along with a progressive government and business community....