Medical Tourism Lowers Healthcare Costs for Companies and Their Employees, But Is It Good Medicine for Patients and Can Clinical Laboratories Participate?

Some companies save so much in healthcare cost they pay their employees to participate in medical tourism programs Medical tourism is not new, but it’s changing, and clinical laboratories have a role to play in the models employers use to save money on their employees’ health coverage costs. Employers that manage the entire process—from securing passports for their employees, to ensuring they have access to high-quality care outside the country’s borders—report saving money as well as...

Pathologist, Neurosurgeon, and Critical Care Specialist Face Criminal Charges in the Deaths of Dozens of Patients

Could local and federal prosecutors ask clinical laboratories to disclose information on their client physicians’ test-ordering activities when investigating medical errors? Are physicians facing greater risk of criminal indictments when one of their patients dies, and investigators find that physician impairment or inappropriate medical treatments contributed to the patient’s death? Could clinical laboratories be drawn into federal investigations of their client physicians? The healthcare...

New Player in Market for Laboratory Information System Products Acquires Orchard Software

Sale of respected laboratory information system company may be an early sign that investors believe clinical laboratories and pathology groups are ready to upgrade their LISs and add needed capabilities In the past 10 years there has been little disruption to the laboratory information systems (LIS) market that clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups use. Yet, over that same 10-year period, almost every hospital and physician group practice adopted an electronic health system...

As the Public Becomes More Aware of the Large Variability in how Clinical Laboratories Price Their Tests, All Labs Need Strategy for Complying with CMS’ Pricing Transparency Requirements

Journalists, researchers, and a growing number of consumers now recognize the often huge variability in the prices different medical laboratories charge for the same lab tests One step at a time, the Medicare program, private health insurers, and employers are putting policies in place that require providers—including clinical laboratories and pathology groups—to allow patients and consumers to see the prices they charge for their medical services. Recent studies into test price transparency...

Veritas Genetics Drops Its Price for Clinical-Grade Whole-Genome Sequencing to $599, as Gene Sequencing Costs Continue to Fall

Low prices to encourage consumers to order its WGS service is one way Veritas co-founder and genetics pioneer George Church hopes to sequence 150,000 genomes by 2021 By announcing an annotated whole-genome sequencing (WGS) service to consumers for just $599, Veritas Genetics is establishing a new price benchmark for medical laboratories and gene testing companies. Prior to this announcement in July, Veritas priced its standard myGenome service at $999. “There is no more comprehensive genetic...

CMS Releases Revision to State Operations Manual Special Procedures for Laboratories

Presenters at the 13th Annual Lab Quality Confab 2019 discussed the negative impact of disparities between medical laboratory processes and SOPs ATLANTA, Oct. 18, 2019—Several weeks ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) quietly released QSO-19-20-CLIA: Revisions to State Operations Manual (SOM), Chapter 6—Special Procedures for Laboratories. The release, which went to all State Survey Agency Directors, includes a “comprehensive revision to establish quality laboratory...