Health Insurers and Hospital Groups Argue Price Transparency Rules on Hospitals, Clinical Laboratories, and Other Providers Will Add Costs and ‘Confuse’ Consumers

Insurance industry claims new federal price transparency regulations cost each payer as much as $13.6 million in set up and maintenance costs Price transparency in hospital, clinical laboratory, and other service provider costs marches ever closer to reality for America’s healthcare consumers. Meanwhile, some insurers and hospital groups are working to block implementation of federal rules they argue will confuse consumers and potentially lead to higher costs. The pushback from hospital and...

Where Are the Patients? Hospitals and Clinical Laboratories Wonder When Routine Surgeries, Procedures, and Testing Can Be Restarted Once the COVID-19 Outbreak Eases

Even as some states lift stay-at-home orders, clinical laboratories and pathology groups face uncertainty about how quickly routine daily test referrals will return to normal, pre-pandemic levels Although strokes and heart attacks do not take vacations, a large and growing number of patients with serious health issues who—in normal times—would require immediate attention are not contacting providers to get needed care. Instead, they are avoiding hospital emergency rooms and clinical...

COVID-19 Pandemic Triggers Decline in Anatomic Pathology Testing and Shows How Digital Pathology, Remote Sign-Out Can Increase Pathology Services

Because of ‘shelter in place’ orders, many anatomic pathologists are reviewing digital images from home during the COVID-19 outbreak and demonstrating the value of whole slide imaging, digital pathology, and CMS’ recent amended remote sign-out policy COVID-19 is already triggering many permanent changes in the way healthcare is organized and delivered in the United States. However, not until the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic eases will the full extent of these changes become visible. This will be...

COVID-19 Disruptions of Supply Chains Are One More Challenge for Clinical Laboratories to Bring Value to Hospitals and Healthcare Networks

Supply chain experts can explain ways clinical laboratories should evaluate their suppliers and sources Suddenly, supply chain management has become a critical success factor as hospitals, health systems, and clinical laboratories throughout the United States respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for essential supplies has left many health network medical laboratories vulnerable and understocked. One supply chain expert has several recommendations on how hospitals and clinical laboratories...

Can Consumers Collect Their Own Biological Specimens for Direct-to-Consumer SARS-CoV-2 Tests? FDA Says ‘No’ to Clinical Labs Announcing Such Tests

Following criticism over delays in authorizing medical LDT COVID-19 tests, the FDA swiftly shut down consumer at-home specimen collection schemes Banning COVID-19 tests that rely on consumers’ collecting their own specimens at home is one example where the federal US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took remarkably swift action. It’s also interesting to note how some business people—who lack formal training in clinical laboratory medicine—often are ready to seize any opportunity to sell lab...

Because of the COVID-19 Outbreak, AACC Reschedules Its Annual Conference to December in Chicago and Executive War College Reschedules Its Conference in New Orleans to July

Two major clinical laboratory conferences reschedule, as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to disrupt long-planned events; Many labs are losing money as fewer patients visit physicians This week, the ongoing Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic was responsible for two important developments in the clinical laboratory industry. Both involved the rescheduling of major annual conferences. In both cases, conference organizers are placing different bets on when they...