Milliman Medical Index Predicts Families Will Spend More for Healthcare in 2018 Than Previous Years; Growth Trend Could Impact Clinical Laboratories Unprepared to Collect Fees at Time of Service

Employers and consumers continue to pay more for health benefits from one year to the next, continuing a trend that is not auspicious for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups Most clinical laboratories don’t have the capability to collect payments from patients at time of service the same way patients pay doctors during office visits. Thus, Milliman’s annual report which details the increasing amounts patients are expected to pay out of their own pockets should be of interest to...

Payer-Provider Partnerships Accelerating as Insurers and Healthcare Networks Look to Improve Care Quality and Reduce Costs

Shift from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement is fueling increase in joint ventures and co-branded insurance products, creating opportunities for nimble clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups As healthcare moves from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement, health insurers and providers are joining forces at a steadily increasing rate, with nearly three-quarters of partnered products in early 2018 being joint ventures or fully co-branded insurance products. This...

For Early-State Lung Cancer Detection, GRAIL’s Experimental Clinical Laboratory Blood Screening Test Shows Promise

Silicon Valley startup is using gene sequencing to identify in the bloodstream free-floating genetic material shed by tumors There has been plenty of excitement about the new diagnostic technologies designed to identify circulating tumor cells in blood samples. Now, a well-funded Silicon Valley startup has developed a blood test that it says holds promise for detecting early-stage lung and other cancers. Though experimental, the screening test—which uses gene sequencing to identify in the...

The Problems with Ancestry DNA Analyses

Diagnostic medical laboratories may sequence DNA genetic tests correctly, but there are issues with how companies analyze the information In 2017, some 12 million people paid to spit in a tube and have their genetic data analyzed, according to Technology Review. Many companies offer this type of DNA testing, and each of them works with one or more clinical laboratories to get the actual sequencing performed. For example, Ancestry.com, one of the largest direct-to-consumer genetic data testing...

Researchers Easily Reidentify Deidentified Patient Records with 95% Accuracy; Privacy Protection of Patient Test Records a Concern for Clinical Laboratories

Protecting patient privacy is of critical importance, and yet researchers reidentified data using only a few additional data points, casting doubt on the effectiveness of existing federally required data security methods and sharing protocols Clinical laboratories and anatomic pathologists know the data generated by their diagnostics and testing services constitute most of a patient’s personal health record (PHR). They also know federal law requires them to secure their patients’ protected...

Genetic Testing as Part of Primary Care and Precision Medicine is Underway at NorthShore University HealthSystem and Geisinger Health

Both health systems will use their EHRs to track genetic testing data and plan to bring genetic data to primary care physicians Clinical laboratories and pathology groups face a big challenge in how to get appropriate genetic and molecular data into electronic health record (EHR) systems in ways that are helpful for physicians. Precision medicine faces many barriers and this is one of the biggest. Aside from the sheer enormity of the data, there’s the question of making it useful and...