Health Insurers and Hospital Groups Argue Price Transparency Rules on Hospitals, Clinical Laboratories, and Other Providers Will Add Costs and ‘Confuse’ Consumers

Insurance industry claims new federal price transparency regulations cost each payer as much as $13.6 million in set up and maintenance costs Price transparency in hospital, clinical laboratory, and other service provider costs marches ever closer to reality for America’s healthcare consumers. Meanwhile, some insurers and hospital groups are working to block implementation of federal rules they argue will confuse consumers and potentially lead to higher costs. The pushback from hospital and...

Walmart Opens Second Health Center Offering Clinical Laboratory Tests and Primary Care Services

In another example of giving consumers more direct access to medical laboratory tests, Walmart believes that convenience and lower prices can help it capture market share Retail giants continue to add healthcare services—including medical laboratory testing—to their wares. It’s a trend that pressures hospital systems, clinical laboratories, pathology groups, and primary care providers to compete for customers. And, while in most instances competition is good, many local and rural healthcare...

With So Many New COVID-19 Serology Tests Obtaining EUAs from the FDA, How Can Clinical Laboratories Identify Tests That Should Perform Reliably?

As federal and state officials ease many regulatory requirements to speed new COVID-19 serology tests to market with minimum data about performance, labs are left with important questions to answer on their own Every day, elected officials at all levels of government call for a huge expansion of COVID-19 serology testing. But, as most clinical laboratory managers and pathologists know, it is a complex undertaking for a lab to select any serological test, validate it, then run it daily in...

Where Are the Patients? Hospitals and Clinical Laboratories Wonder When Routine Surgeries, Procedures, and Testing Can Be Restarted Once the COVID-19 Outbreak Eases

Even as some states lift stay-at-home orders, clinical laboratories and pathology groups face uncertainty about how quickly routine daily test referrals will return to normal, pre-pandemic levels Although strokes and heart attacks do not take vacations, a large and growing number of patients with serious health issues who—in normal times—would require immediate attention are not contacting providers to get needed care. Instead, they are avoiding hospital emergency rooms and clinical...

COVID-19 Pandemic Triggers Decline in Anatomic Pathology Testing and Shows How Digital Pathology, Remote Sign-Out Can Increase Pathology Services

Because of ‘shelter in place’ orders, many anatomic pathologists are reviewing digital images from home during the COVID-19 outbreak and demonstrating the value of whole slide imaging, digital pathology, and CMS’ recent amended remote sign-out policy COVID-19 is already triggering many permanent changes in the way healthcare is organized and delivered in the United States. However, not until the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic eases will the full extent of these changes become visible. This will be...

UC Berkeley Creates COVID-19 Robotic Testing Laboratory in Record Time by Reallocating Equipment and Training Researchers to Do Clinical Analysis

Medical laboratory leaders may be inspired by this rapid start-up and its outreach to students and the Bay area In what could take a typical clinical laboratory months or even years to launch, the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) at the University of California, Berkeley managed to make a COVID-19 diagnostic testing laboratory operational in just a few weeks.  Even more impressive is that the automated testing lab can reportedly process (with results in four hours) up to 3,000 patient...