New Proposed Federal Rule Could Remove Requirement for Hospitals to Share Negotiated Medicare Advantage Rates with CMS

CMS says it is responding to hospitals’ plea for relief from burdensome reporting requirements, but not altering federal price transparency laws Despite federal price transparency law that went into effect January 1 after a year-long court battle, some hospitals continue to balk at sharing their payer-negotiated rates for healthcare goods and services—including medical laboratory testing—claiming a variety of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine distribution, and other...

Gene Sequencing of COVID-19 Outbreak in Minnesota School System Guides Public Health Officials in Slowing Spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus

Data was used to create a transmission map that tracked the spread of infections among school athletes and helped public health officials determine where best to disrupt exposure Genomic sequencing played a major role in tracking a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in a Minnesota school system. Understanding how and where the coronavirus was spreading helped local officials implement restrictions to help keep the public safe. This episode demonstrates how clinical laboratories that can quickly sequence...

South Korean Telecommunications Partner with Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Companies to Send Test Results to Consumers’ Mobile Devices

As consumer demand increases for medical laboratory testing services that bypass the supervision of primary care doctors, clinical laboratories may be affected Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing organizations and telecommunications companies in South Korea are collaborating to help consumers stay informed of their health status by sending lab test results directly to their mobile devices without requiring physician involvement. What can labs in the West learn from these developments? One...

Medscape Report on Physician Salaries in 2020 Shows Pathologists at Middle in Pay, but Near Top in Job Satisfaction

Though pathology salaries rank 16th among 29 medical specialties, it is in the top 10 among specialties that attract women and respondents say that comes with a lot of paperwork Despite “hardships” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, 18,000 physicians in more than 29 medical specialties who participated in Medscape’s 2021 Physician Compensation Report said that, overall, their 2020 income was similar to prior years. Pathologists reported earnings in 2020 of $316,000, $28,000 below the average...

Hospital-based Clinical Laboratory Scientist is Suing Her Former Employer After Being Fired Due to Long-Haul COVID-19 Illness

Medical laboratory employee alleges healthcare system discriminated based on her medical condition, failed to accommodate her disability, then retaliated and created hostile working conditions What is a clinical laboratory’s obligation when an employee is infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and does not make a speedy recovery? Medical laboratory executives should ponder this question now that a California hospital system is being sued by a 33-year laboratory employee who was terminated...

Walmart to Open 4,000 Healthcare ‘Supercenters’ by 2029 That Include ‘Comprehensive’ Clinical Laboratory Services

With the majority of Americans living just a few miles from a Walmart, how might independent clinical laboratories compete? Retail giant Walmart (NYSE:WMT) plans to install 4,000 primary care “supercenters” in stores by 2029 that will include clinical laboratory testing services. This is on top of the dozens of Walmart Health locations already in operation in Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Illinois, and Texas. Clinical laboratories already have growing competition in the healthcare marketplace...
;