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...

FDA Authorizes 23andMe to Report Results of Direct-to-Consumer Pharmacogenetics Test to Customers without a Prescription, Bypassing Doctors and Clinical Laboratories

FDA cautions patients to not use data gained from the DTC test to make healthcare decisions on their own Clinical laboratories continue to be impacted by the growing direct-to-consumer (DTC) testing market, as more walk-in lab customers order at-home tests. Now, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a DTC test company to provide results of a pharmacogenetic (PGx) test to customers without needing a doctor’s order. This is the first genetic test of its kind to receive such...

Balance Billing Under Increased Scrutiny at Both State and Federal Levels; Clinical Laboratory Tests Top List of Surprise Bills Received by Patients

Experts blame insurance regulators for not ensuring the adequacy of healthcare networks that include hospital-based physicians, such as pathologists and radiologists According to a recent study, clinical laboratories, anatomic pathologists, radiologists, and anesthesiologists top the list of providers who bill patients for the difference between what they charge for their services and a hospital’s contracted reimbursement rates. This so-called “balance-billing” not only causes hardship for...