UnitedHealthcare Offers Apple Watches to Wellness Program Participants Who Meet Fitness Goals; Clinical Laboratories Can Participate and Increase Revenues

Mobile, wearable, mHealth monitoring devices are a key element of many employer fitness programs and clinical laboratories can play an important role in their success For years Dark Daily has encouraged clinical laboratories to get involved in corporate wellness programs as a way to support their local communities and increase revenues. Now, leveraging the popularity of mobile health (mHealth) wearable devices, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) has found a new way to incentivize employees participating...

Many Hospital Laboratories Must Report PAMA Private Payer Clinical Lab Test Price Data as ‘Applicable Labs’ in 2019, But Lack Systems and Expertise for This Task

Medicare officials are including most hospital laboratories in this PAMA data reporting cycle, but hospitals face $10,000/day federal penalties for not filing, filing late, or filing incomplete or inaccurate data Clinical laboratories operated by hospitals and health systems could prove to be a game changer for the lab industry in this upcoming PAMA private payer lab test price reporting cycle. But that upside comes with risk. For this reporting period, the federal Centers for Medicare and...

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...

Rural, For-Profit Hospitals Closing at an Alarming Rate Putting Some Independent Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups at Risk

Most of the hospital closures occurred in states that did not expand their Medicaid programs following the Affordable Care Act of 2014 Sustained financial pressure is not limited to clinical laboratories. Rural hospitals are under grave financial pressure as well. These hospitals are particularly vulnerable, and many have closed their doors, leaving local physicians and independent pathologists in those communities with an unclear path going forward. Now, a recent study by the North Carolina...

Customized Cancer Vaccines Based on Individual Patients’ DNA Could Soon Be a Reality, Might Require Diagnostic Support from Anatomic Pathology Labs

Pharmaceutical developers are combining genetic sequencing and precision medicine to create new drug therapies and cancer treatments designed for specific patients Most anatomic pathologists are aware of the rapid advances in the field of cancer immunotherapy—sometimes also called immune-oncology. This is an area of healthcare where precision medicine and personal genetics become crucial elements in developing more effective drug regimens. Scientists are combining those two areas of research...

Walmart and Home Depot Employ Copay Accumulators to Keep Employee Healthcare Costs Down and Encourage Utilization of Generic Prescription Drugs

While clinical laboratories may not be directly affected by copay accumulators, anything that affects patients’ ability to pay for healthcare will likely impact lab revenues as well Here’s a new term and strategy that some big employers are deploying in an attempt to control the choice of health benefits provided to their employees. The term is “copay accumulator” and it is intended to offset efforts by pharmaceutical companies to minimize what consumers must pay out-of-pocket for expensive...