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...

Kroger Prescription Plans Partners with Myriad Genetics to Offer GeneSight Genetic Tests and Genetic Counseling in Kroger Pharmacies

Clinical laboratories may soon find opportunities to assist retail pharmacists who are doing genetic test counseling, as employers’ support of genetic testing advances In another market example of acceptance of genetic tests by major employers, a new pilot program is underway by Kroger Prescription Plans that offers GeneSight by Myriad Genetics as a benefit. GeneSight is an LDT, a laboratory-developed pharmacogenomic test, used to treat psychiatric disorders, such as depression. As part of the...

Latest AMA Benchmark Survey Shows Number of Physicians Employed by Health Networks Now Exceeds Those in Independent Practice

As physicians continue to re-evaluate their career strategies, clinical laboratories must closely monitor changes to test ordering from formerly self-employed doctors For the first time, more doctors are employed by health networks than are in private practice. That’s according to a recent report from the American Medical Association (AMA). In a press release, the AMA describes the event as “the continuation of a long-term trend that has slowly shifted the distribution of physicians away from...

Implementing a New EHR at the Veterans Administration Is Taking Longer and Costing More than Earlier Estimates

With a now-estimated price tag of $16.1 billion, federal regulators and government representatives question the VA’s replacement for their VistA medical records system Originally estimated to cost $10 billion, a contract to replace the federal Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) electronic health record (EHR) system will now cost $16.1 billion, according to new estimates, and this has drawn increased scrutiny from regulators and the media. ProPublica reports that the initial deal signed in May...

Yale Study Finds Obtaining Personal Medical Records from Hospitals Can Be Difficult for Many Patients

The researchers also found unnecessarily confusing policies and procedures for requesting medical records, such as clinical laboratory test results Clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups looking for ways to improve their customers’ experience should give high priority to ensuring patients have easy, accurate access to their own health records. This would, apparently, set them apart from many hospital health networks if a recent study conducted by Yale University School of Medicine...

Microbiologists Take Note! UPenn Study Using Next-Generation Sequencing Finds Stethoscopes Harbor Vast Amounts of Bacteria, Including Staphylococcus Aureus, Which Causes Deadly Hospital-Acquired Infections

Researchers also found Staph and other bacteria on stethoscopes after they had been cleaned, leading to scrutiny of cleaning agents and methods Microbiologists, anatomic pathologists, and clinical laboratory leaders should be intrigued by a university study which found stethoscopes worn by caregivers contained vast amounts of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus (Staph), a major cause of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Using next-generation DNA sequencing, University of Pennsylvania...