Academic Institutions Still Rely Heavily on COVID-19 Symptom-Checking Technology Despite Questions About Its Usefulness

A New York Times report suggests that frequent testing is still the best approach to controlling spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus Many colleges and universities go to great lengths to screen their students for signs of COVID-19 using technologies that include fever scanners, heart-rate monitors, and symptom-checking apps. But a recent report in The New York Times, titled, “Colleges That Require Virus-Screening Tech Struggle to Say Whether It Works,” suggests that academic institutions...

Federal Government Study Shows EHR Interoperability at All Time High as 55% of Hospitals Report Robust Data Exchange

But information blocking remains a barrier to complete information exchange, creating ongoing issues for clinical laboratories and pathology groups Interoperability of electronic health records (EHRs) remains one the biggest challenges for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups that must interface with the EHRs of their physician clients to enable electronic transmission of medical laboratory orders and test results. Laboratory professionals will be pleased to know the most recent...

Cigna Subsidiary Evernorth Acquires MDLIVE as Demand for Telehealth Grows Among Insurers and Healthcare Consumers

COVID-19 pandemic has elevated virtual care into the mainstream, creating opportunities to increase access to care, including clinical laboratory testing, and drive down healthcare costs As the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for virtual healthcare, Cigna is acquiring telehealth provider MDLIVE in a move that may indicate the insurance giant anticipates virtual visits playing a major role in healthcare delivery going forward. And, with each acquisition within the telehealth space, the need for...

How Will Clinical Laboratories Collect Samples if Telehealth Replaces Traditional Doctor’s Office Visits?

COVID-19 has made telehealth an important tool. New technologies may help clinical laboratories collect blood samples ordered by physicians treating patients remotely Even before COVID-19, telehealth services were gaining in popularity. But the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic fully opened the door to widespread use of mobile healthcare (mHealth) technologies. This has had an on-going impact on clinical laboratories. Pre-pandemic, if a patient visited a healthcare provider and that provider ordered medical...

OIG Report Indicates Fraudulent Upcoding at Hospitals is More Prevalent than Expected, Recommends More CMS Oversight and Auditing of Medicare Spending

Oddly, as upcoding severity levels have risen, reported higher-severity inpatient hospital stays have dropped, OIG reported Medicare upcoding fraud is a growing problem for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Now, a report from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) suggests that the practice is increasingly occurring for high-severity inpatient hospital stays that account for the most expensive part of US healthcare....

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes Is Pregnant, Causing a Further Delay in Her Trial Date

Federal court grants seven-week postponement of Holmes’ criminal fraud trial, pushing start date to August 31 Clinical laboratories have rarely seen a saga like that of defunct Theranos and its former CEO Elizabeth Holmes. And yet, just when we think nothing else could be added to the drama, it turns out Holmes is now pregnant and requesting a change to the court dates to accommodate her condition. And the courts have agreed. After being delayed multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a...
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