Excessive $48,329 Charge for California Patient’s Outpatient Clinical Laboratory Testing Calls Attention to Chargemaster Rates and New CMS Price Transparency Rule

Studies show medical laboratories may be particularly hit by adjustments to hospital chargemasters as hospitals prepare to comply with Medicare’s New Transparency Rule Recently, Kaiser Health News (KHN) published a story about a $48,329 bill for allergy testing that cast a spotlight on hospital chargemaster rates just as healthcare providers are preparing to publish their prices online to comply with a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule aimed at increasing pricing...

Innovations in Microsampling Blood Technology Mean More Patients Can Have Blood Tests at Home, and Clinical Laboratories May Advance Toward Precision Medicine Goals

Clinical laboratory leaders aiming for patient-centered care and precision medicine outcomes need to acknowledge that patients do not want to be in hospitals or travel to physician offices and patient care centers for blood tests. It can be inconvenient, sometimes costly, and often painful. That’s why disease management methods such as remote patient monitoring are appealing to many people. It’s a big market estimated to reach $1 billion by 2020, according to a Transparency Market Research...

Sorting through EHR Interoperability: A Modern Day Tower of Babel That Corrects Problems for Clinical Laboratories, Other Providers

Despite the widespread adoption of electronic health record (EHR) systems and billions in government incentives, lack of interoperability still blocks potential benefits of digital health records, causing frustration among physicians, medical labs, and patients Clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups understand the complexity of today’s electronic health record (EHR) systems. The ability to easily and securely transmit pathology test results and other diagnostic information among...

Healthcare Mergers, Physician Consolidation, and Increased Healthcare Utilization Expected to Increase Medical Cost by 6% in 2019

PwC report indicates deal-making may generate long-term savings, but adds to higher medical costs as hospital systems dominate markets and drive up prices Consolidation of big hospital health networks combined with a loss of independent doctor practices has changed the healthcare landscape in recent years, and clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups have been directly impacted. Now, those trends, along with increased access to care, are expected to push employer medical cost up by...

Even Medicare Advisors Recognize the Trend to Treat Patients in Settings Other than Hospitals with New Recommendations to Congress

Shifts to new types of facilities where patients are treated provide clinical laboratories and pathology groups with new opportunities to add value to providers and patients Two important trends have serious implications for the nation’s traditional hospitals. One is the ongoing shift of patient care from inpatient settings to outpatient providers. The other trend is to proactively manage patients so as to avoid the need for hospitalization. Both trends create challenges and opportunities for...

Stanford University Study Traces Hospital-Acquired Bloodstream Infections to Patients’ Own Digestive Tract

New bioinformatic tool finds gut microbiota may be ‘potential reservoir of bloodstream pathogens’ suggesting patients’ own bodies can be source of infections Clinical laboratories in hospitals and health networks throughout the nation are collaborating in the priority effort to reduce deaths from sepsis and related blood infections. Now comes news that researchers at Stanford have identified an unexpected source of bloodstream infections. This finding may help medical laboratories contribute...