New Study Shows Protective Immunity Against COVID-19 Is ‘Robust’ and May Last Up to Eight Months or Longer Following Infection

Researchers find declining antibody levels in SARS-CoV-2 patients are offset by T cells and B cells that remain behind to fight off reinfection Questions remain regarding how long antibodies produced by a COVID-19 vaccine or natural infection will provide ongoing protection against SARS-CoV-2. However, a new study showing COVID-19 immunity may be “robust” and “long lasting” may signal important news for clinical laboratories and in vitro diagnostics companies developing serological tests for...

Researchers in Five Countries Use AI, Deep Learning to Analyze and Monitor the Quality of Donated Red Blood Cells Stored for Transfusions

By training a computer to analyze blood samples, and then automating the expert assessment process, the AI processed months’ worth of blood samples in a single day New technologies and techniques for acquiring and transporting biological samples for clinical laboratory testing receive much attention. But what of the quality of the samples themselves? Blood products are expensive, as hospital medical laboratories that manage blood banks know all too well. Thus, any improvement to how labs store...

CMS’ Latest Value-Based Care Reimbursement Model Explores Geographic Direct Contracting for Medicare, Focuses on Costs and Quality

Physicians engaged with CMS in value-based care are asking clinical laboratories to help them close gaps in patient care through testing   Clinical laboratories know that any change to how the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reimburses healthcare providers could also affect how labs are reimbursed for services they provide. Thus, lab leaders will want to take note of the latest value-based reimbursement model being tested by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid...

University of Kansas Health System Laboratory Shares Lessons from Assessing Pooled Testing for COVID-19 Patients

Available funds and disease prevalence affect whether pooled testing is feasible and desirable, notes University of Kansas Health System microbiology laboratory director Pooled testing for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has its supporters and its critics. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to pooling multiple patients’ biological samples into a single COVID-19 test in the hopes that the result will be all negative. Several factors must be in place for COVID-19 pooled testing to be viable...

ASCP and CAP Support New Legislation That Bars Surprise Medical Billing

The No Surprises Act, passed as part of the COVID-19 relief package, ensures patients do not receive surprise bills after out-of-network care, including hospital-based physicians such as pathologists Consumer demand for price transparency in healthcare has been gaining support in Congress after several high-profile cases involving surprise medical billing received widespread reporting. Dark Daily covered many of these cases over the years. In “Are Clinical Laboratories Prepared to Cope with...

VA’s ‘Million Veterans Program’ Research Study Receives Its 100,000th Human Genome Sequence

With improved genetic sequencing comes larger human genome databases that could lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers for clinical laboratories As the COVID-19 pandemic grabbed headlines, the human genome database at the US Department of Veterans Affairs Million Veterans Program (MVP) quietly grew. Now, this wealth of genomic information—as well as data from other large-scale genomic and genetic collections—is expected to produce new biomarkers for clinical laboratory diagnostics...