Two Boston Health Systems Enter the Growing Direct-to-Consumer Gene Sequencing Market by Opening Preventative Genomics Clinics, but Can Patients Afford the Service?

By offering DTC preventative gene sequencing, hospital leaders hope to help physicians better predict cancer risk and provide more accurate diagnoses Two Boston health systems, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), are the latest to open preventative gene sequencing clinics and compete with consumer gene sequencing companies, such as 23andMe and Ancestry, as well as with other hospital systems that already provide similar services. This may provide...

Preparing Clinical Laboratories for Invasive Federal Enforcement of Fraud and Abuse Laws, Increased Scrutiny by Private Payers, New Education Audits, and More

Medical laboratory leaders need to take opportunities to stay abreast of government and payer activity, particularly as payer audits become tougher, say legal experts Even compliant clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups are reporting tougher audits and closer scrutiny of the medical lab test claims they submit for payment. This is an unwelcome development at a time when falling lab test prices, narrowing networks, and more prior-authorization requirements are already making it...

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...

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...

Clinical Laboratories and Hospitals Test New Technology That Can Help Reduce Unacceptable Rates of Contaminated Blood Culture Specimens

Especially for busy hospital emergency departments, avoiding blood culture contamination is a constant challenge for those tasked with collecting blood culture specimens Better, faster diagnosis and treatment of sepsis continues to be a major goal at hospitals, health networks, and other medical facilities throughout the United States. Yet microbiologists and clinical laboratory managers continue to be frustrated with how frequently contaminated blood culture specimens show up in the...

Saarland University Researchers Use Blood Samples from Zoo Animals to Help Scientists Find Biomarkers That Speed Diagnoses in Humans

Using animal blood, the researchers hope to improve the accuracy of AI driven diagnostic technology What does a cheetah, a tortoise, and a Humboldt penguin have in common? They are zoo animals helping scientists at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany, find biomarkers that can help computer-assisted diagnoses of diseases in humans at early stages. And they are not the only animals lending a paw or claw. In their initial research, the scientists used blood samples that had been collected...