Despite the Coronavirus Pandemic, Medicare Officials Continue Push for Price Transparency by Pressuring Hospitals to Disclose Rates Negotiated with Private Payers

Clinical laboratories are advised to continue developing methods for making prices for procedures available to the general public Even as an effective treatment for COVID-19 continues to elude federal healthcare agencies, Medicare officials are pressing ahead with efforts to bring about transparency in hospital healthcare pricing, including clinical laboratory procedures and prescription drugs costs. In FY 2021 Proposed Rule CMS-1735-P, titled, “Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective...

Abbott Lab’s ID NOW COVID-19 Rapid Molecular Test Continues to Face Scrutiny over ‘False Negatives’

Though the test initially drew ‘raves’ from Trump administration, the FDA now suggests negative results should be confirmed with an additional ‘high-sensitivity authorized SARS-CoV-2 molecular test’ This spring, as the United States attempted to jump-start a national response to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration heralded Abbott Laboratories’ five-minute test for COVID-19 as a major breakthrough. But even as the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued...

Coronavirus Fraud Takes Many Forms as Federal and Local Officials Continue to Pursue Widespread Cases of Clinical Laboratory Testing Scams

Since the pandemic began, federal investigators are specifically looking for patterns of fraud in Medicare claims data for COVID-19 clinical laboratory testing Last month, the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced it had been investigating trends in Medicare claims data that could indicate patterns of fraud in the billing for COVID-19 clinical laboratory tests, Modern Healthcare reported. Stretching back to at least March, fraudulent...

FEMA Paid a Just-Formed Company Millions of Dollars for COVID-19 Specimen Collection Tubes That Were Unusable for Clinical Laboratory Testing

The fledgling test-kit company sent plastic preforms that were intended for use in the manufacturing of soda bottles, not clinical laboratory specimen tubes When is a specimen tube not a specimen tube? When it is a plastic tube made for creating soda bottles. And that may be exactly what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) received after paying $7.3 million to a fledgling Florida-based company that won a multi-million-dollar no-bid contract from the federal government for COVID-19...

New CMS Proposed Rule Encourages Value-Based Reimbursement Based on Patient Outcomes When Payers and Drug Manufacturers Negotiate Payment for Pricey Therapies

Clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups should consider this another example of how CMS is taking forward steps to encourage value-based payment arrangements throughout the health system With the sky-high cost of many prescription drugs and gene therapies, it was only a matter of time before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would seek to link reimbursement for them to patient outcomes. A recent CMS proposed rule (CMS-2842-P) concerning value-based purchasing...

Clinical Diagnostics Laboratory in Texas Charged $2,315 for One Coronavirus Test and Later Claims High Price Was a ‘Billing Error’

Media reporting on disparities in COVID-19 test billing sparks renewed calls for increased transparency in medical laboratory test charges Recent media reports of massive disparities in the prices charged for COVID-19 lab tests throughout the United States have citizens and law makers alike again calling for increased transparency in clinical laboratory test charges. One recent example involves the New York Times (NYT), which after learning that Austin-based Gibson Diagnostic Labs (GDL) of...