Whistleblower Lawsuit Alleges Massive Fraud in Cigna Medicare Advantage Plans

A former officer of a Cigna contractor claims the insurer hatched a scheme to submit invalid diagnostic codes and filed the now-unsealed qui tam action in 2017 In a case that could provide a cautionary tale for clinical laboratories, a federal whistleblower lawsuit...

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Where Did all the Antibodies Go? Emory University’s Vaccine Center Studies Bone Marrow to Find Out Why Influenza Vaccines are Short-Lived

Pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists know that influenza vaccines typically produce short-lived protection and researchers have new clues as to why this is true With so much interest in development of a COVID-19 vaccine, findings by researchers at Atlanta’s...

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Teladoc Health’s Agreement to Acquire Livongo Is a Blockbuster Deal in the Telehealth Sector, But Is it Positive or Negative for Clinical Laboratories?

Physician acceptance of virtual visits with their patients is being accelerated by the pandemic and the pending merger would combine the nation’s two biggest telehealth companies Telehealth visits with virtual healthcare providers are increasing as the COVID-19...

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New Artificial Intelligence Algorithm Uses Routine Clinical Laboratory Tests to Identify Patients Likely Infected with COVID-19

At hospitals where results of molecular COVID-19 testing can take up to several days to return, this new method for identifying potentially infected patients could improve triage Frustrated by shortages of essential COVID-19 tests and supplies—as well by lengthy...

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Amazon’s Prime Air Drone Fleet Receives FAA Approval to Make Deliveries to Customers, Could Clinical Laboratory Specimens and Supplies be Next?

Delivery of clinical laboratory specimens and medical supplies by drone is beginning to happen in different parts of the world The idea that fleets of flying drones may someday legally transport clinical laboratory specimens may sound good—it may even be beneficial...

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February COVID-19 Superspreader Event in Boston Confirmed by Use of Genetic Sequencing as Next-Gen Sequencing Is Put to Novel Uses, including in Clinical Laboratories

Gene sequencing is enabling disease tracking in new ways that include retesting laboratory specimens from before the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak to determine when it arrived in the US On February 26 of this year, nearly 200 executives and employees of...

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Canada’s Early Response to COVID-19 Garnered Praise, But Critical Shortages of Clinical Lab Tests and Delays in Test Results Brought Criticism of the Government’s Actions. Sound Familiar?

Though coronavirus infections were detected nearly simultaneously in both Canada and the US, total cases and total deaths vary dramatically leading experts to question how differences in healthcare systems might have contributed Can clinical laboratories in the United...

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CDC, HHS Create National Wastewater Surveillance System to Help Monitor and Track Spread of COVID-19

Though not a replacement for clinical laboratory testing, the CDC says the surveillance system will help slow spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities Clinical laboratory testing for COVID-19 is receiving an ally. In mid-August, the Centers for Disease Control and...

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Clinical Laboratories in Hospitals Continue to Experience Reductions in Test Orders as Emergency Department Visits for Common Conditions Slowly Climb Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Multiple recent studies reveal a substantial number of patients continue to delay needed healthcare in the months since the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak Based on an analysis of hospital emergency department (ED) usage, federal researchers concluded that patients...

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CMS Proposes a New Rule That Would Shift Many Procedures from High-Cost Inpatient Healthcare Settings to Lower-Cost Outpatient Ambulatory Surgical Centers

If the proposed rule becomes final, it may shift some inpatient medical laboratory testing away from hospital labs and to independent clinical laboratories Medical laboratories in hospitals and health systems already feel the pinch of less test orders originating from...

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UCSF and Stanford Researchers Investigate Why Some Infected with COVID-19 Are Asymptomatic, While Others Become Severely Ill or Die

Might clinical laboratories soon be called on to conduct mass testing to find people who show little or no symptoms even though they are infected with the coronavirus?     Clinical laboratory managers understand that as demand for COVID-19 testing...

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New Research Suggests Clinical Laboratory Blood Tests Could Fill A Void in Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnoses

Studies presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference point to the p-tau217 protein as an especially useful biomarker Researchers disclosed a potentially useful biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease at a major conference this summer. The good news for...

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Though Two Analyst Reports Show Depressed Operating Margins for Healthcare, Providers and Clinical Laboratories May See Patient Volumes Rise for the Rest of 2020

  July data shows some volume gains for providers since June; however, analysts say current predictions depends on progress of the COVID-19 pandemic Clinical laboratory managers preparing strategic plans for 2020 and 2021 face a basic and key question: when and...

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Kissinger, Mattis, and Murdoch Possible Government Witnesses for the Prosecution against Elizabeth Holmes in Theranos Clinical Laboratory Testing Fraud Case

The federal trial, now set to begin in March 2021, could become a media spectacle given the marquee names on the witness list Clinical laboratories following the federal criminal proceedings against Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes will have to wait...

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Delays in Reporting Results of COVID-19 Clinical Laboratory Tests Prompt Florida Governor to End SARS-CoV-2 Testing Contract with Quest Diagnostics

Quest said a ‘technical issue’ had delayed reporting of test data to the state and claimed that patients and providers still received the results in a timely manner Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered state agencies to cut ties with Quest Diagnostics due to...

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US Government Purchases 150 Million COVID-19 Antigen Tests from Abbott Laboratories for $760 Million; Only CLIA-Certified Clinical Laboratories Can Do Testing

Abbott sends the SARS-CoV-2 test results directly to patients’ smartphones, which can be displayed to gain entrance into areas requiring proof of COVID-19 testing There is no greater example that COVID-19 is a major force for change in the clinical laboratory industry...

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‘There’s an App for That’ is Becoming the Norm in Healthcare as Smartphones Provide Access to Patient Medical Records and Clinical Laboratory Test Results

Amazon’s app-based employee healthcare service could be first step toward retailer becoming a disruptive force in healthcare; federal VA develops its own mHealth apps More consumers are using smartphone applications (apps) to manage different aspects of their...

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UPMC Researchers Develop Artificial Intelligence Algorithm That Detects Prostate Cancer with ‘Near Perfect Accuracy’ in Effort to Improve How Pathologists Diagnose Cancer

Working from tissue slides similar to those used by surgical pathologists, the algorithm accurately detects prostate cancer with an impressive 98% sensitivity It could be that a new milestone has been reached on the road to using artificial intelligence (AI) to help...

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New Understanding of CRISPR-Cas9-Guided Base Editors Could Trigger Development of Gene-Editing Tools Targeting Diseases and New Types of Clinical Laboratory Tests

Being able to study the 3D-structure of a CRISPR base editor could help refine the entire CRISPR system, says lead study author Jennifer Doudna, PhD Molecular biology laboratories engaged in CRISPR gene editing will be interested to note that researchers at the...

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King’s College London Study Identifies Six Distinct ‘Types’ of COVID-19 Illness, Each with a Distinct ‘Cluster’ of Symptoms

The KCL researchers’ new models for predicting which patients will need hospitalization and breathing support may be useful for pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists One more window into understanding the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus may have just opened. A...

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Pooled Testing may Provide a Method of Increasing the Number of Coronavirus Tests Being Performed in the US

Pooled testing could become a critical tool for clinical laboratories to spot the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus among asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals COVID-19 testing for individuals has expanded in the US, but the number of people actually tested remains a...

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How Clinical Laboratories Can Avoid COVID-19 Superspreaders, Protect Their Customers and Their Hospital Networks

Understanding how superspreading occurs can help clinical lab leaders slow and even prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within their communities and health systems Clinical laboratories understand the critical importance of preventing the spread of infection. However,...

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