Researchers Easily Reidentify Deidentified Patient Records with 95% Accuracy; Privacy Protection of Patient Test Records a Concern for Clinical Laboratories

Protecting patient privacy is of critical importance, and yet researchers reidentified data using only a few additional data points, casting doubt on the effectiveness of existing federally required data security methods and sharing protocols Clinical laboratories and anatomic pathologists know the data generated by their diagnostics and testing services constitute most of a patient’s personal health record (PHR). They also know federal law requires them to secure their patients’ protected...

KFF Study Finds HDHPs and Increased Cost-Sharing Requirements for Medical Services are Making Healthcare Increasingly Inaccessible to Consumers

Though ACA reforms may have slowed healthcare spending, rapidly increasing deductibles and cost sharing requirements have many experts questioning if patients can afford care at all, despite the increased availability of insurance coverage Much of the debate surrounding efforts to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has centered on premiums as a central facet of out-of-pocket spending. However, new data from a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) survey reveals that premiums are only...

Consumer Reaction to High-Deductible Health Plans and Rising Out-of-Pocket Costs Continues to Impact Physicians and Clinical Laboratories

Because many Americans are ‘concerned’ about how they would pay an unexpected medical bill, they now are seeking upfront information about treatment costs and financing options Clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups that depend on reliable sources of patient and test referrals are being impacted by a reduction in patients seeking care due to rising costs. Evidence continues to mount that high deductible health plans (HDHPs) and the overall rising cost of healthcare are straining...

Next-Generation Laboratory Information Management Systems Will Deliver Medical Laboratory Test Results and Patient Data to Point of Care, Improving Outcomes, Efficiency, and Revenue

Moving to market are the newest generation of LIMS products designed to serve clinical laboratories while supporting quality reporting initiatives and new sources of revenue It was Bob Dylan who made a big hit out of the song, “The Times, They Are A-Changin’.” The same could be said for the next generation of software products designed for use by medical laboratories. To be fully successful, these next-generation laboratory information management systems (LIMS) must be radically different than...

Health Systems Putting Imaging Services, Such As MRIs, In Strip Malls and Shopping Centers To Help Patients with Cost and Convenience

Recognizing the need to serve patients with high-deductible health plans, hospital systems are opening healthcare centers in outpatient settings where patients can receive care and undergo procedures—including clinical laboratory tests—more conveniently and for less cost Health systems are putting medical imaging services, such as MRIs, in strip malls and shopping centers as a way to make it easier for patients. Such locations can also offer lower-cost procedures because of lower overhead...

Lobbying on Behalf of Clinical Laboratories Improves Medicare’s Outpatient Payment Rules

While proposals might change before the final CMS draft, lobbyists see potential for improving Medicare payment totals and structures in the upcoming 2018 outpatient rule and physician fee schedule At this time, efforts by medical laboratories to lobby and educate Medicare officials and members of Congress about the flaws in the Medicare program’s market study of what private health insurers pay for clinical laboratory tests have failed to trigger positive action on this matter. But despite...