University of Edinburgh Study Finds Antimicrobial Bacteria in Hospital Wastewater in Research That Has Implications for Microbiologists

The highly infectious bacteria can survive treatment at local sewage plants and enter the food chain of surrounding populations, the study revealed Researchers at the University of Edinburgh (UE) in Scotland found large amounts of antimicrobial-resistance (AMR) genes in hospital wastewater. These findings will be of interest to microbiologists and clinical laboratory managers, as the scientists used metagenomics to learn “how abundances of AMR genes in hospital wastewater are related to...

Clinical Laboratory Leaders Agree: Showing Value Is More Important than Ever as Healthcare Transitions Away from Fee-for Service Reimbursement

How medical laboratories can show value through process improvement methods and analytics will be among many key topics presented at the upcoming Lab Quality Confab conference Quality management is the clinical laboratory’s best strategy for surviving and thriving in this era of shrinking lab budgets, PAMA price cuts, and value-based payment. In fact, the actions laboratories take in the next few months will set the course for their path to clinical success and financial sustainability in 2020...

HHS Announces Culpability Limits for HIPAA Violations, Drops Annual Fines Owed by Providers

Clinical laboratories need to understand how their patients’ protected health information is being used and secured by vendors to avert data breaches and HHS penalties Most readers of The Dark Report, the sister publication to the Dark Daily, are aware that more than 24-million clinical laboratory patients had their protected health information (PHI) stolen during several recent data breaches involving multiple medical laboratory companies. The first public statements made by clinical lab...

Senior Citizens on Medicare Are Particularly Vulnerable to New Scams Involving Fraudulent Genetic Test Orders

Medical fraudsters are targeting Medicare recipients with schemes to persuade them to agree to genetic tests advertised as informing them if they are predisposed to specific chronic diseases or cancer Medicare scams involving orders for unnecessary, expensive testing are not new. However, clinical laboratory managers and anatomic pathologists need to be aware—particularly those working in hospital and health system labs—that an entirely new wave of fraud involving medical laboratory testing is...

Potentially Fatal Fungus Invades Hospitals and Public Is Not Informed

Clinical laboratories and microbiologists will want to be on the alert for this deadly infectious agent that has killed patients through blood infections Healthcare continues to struggle with the issue of how much to disclose to the public when new and deadly infectious agents are identified in a limited number of patients. Timely disclosure of new pathogens is a matter of great concern to clinical laboratory scientists, microbiologists, and clinical pathologists because their laboratories get...

Federal Investigations into Alleged Kickback Schemes between Hospitals and Physicians Increase in Number and Scope

Hospitals and other organizations are finding ways to pay physicians for referrals in ways that don’t always look like kickbacks Hospitals nationwide are being scrutinized by the federal Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for allegedly violating federal anti-kickback statutes. This will be of interest to clinical pathology laboratories that have been under a similar spotlight for various referral-kickback schemes and arrangements in the last few years, which Dark Daily repeatedly...