KFF Study Finds HDHPs and Increased Cost-Sharing Requirements for Medical Services are Making Healthcare Increasingly Inaccessible to Consumers

Though ACA reforms may have slowed healthcare spending, rapidly increasing deductibles and cost sharing requirements have many experts questioning if patients can afford care at all, despite the increased availability of insurance coverage Much of the debate surrounding efforts to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has centered on premiums as a central facet of out-of-pocket spending. However, new data from a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) survey reveals that premiums are only...

Attention Microbiologists and Medical Laboratory Scientists: New Research Suggests an Organism’s Microbiome Might Be a Factor in Longer, More Active Lives

Is gut microbiota the fabled fountain of youth? Researchers at Valenzano Research Lab in Germany found it works for killifish. Could it work for other vertebrates as well? Research into the microbiomes of humans and other animals is uncovering tantalizing insights as to how different microbes can be beneficial or destructive to the host. It is reasonable to expect ongoing research will eventually give microbiologists and clinical laboratories useful new medical laboratory tests that assess an...

Medicare Officials Back Off a Proposal to Make Hospital Inspection Reports Publicly Available; CLIA Inspections of Medical Laboratories Are Still Not Public

The Joint Commission opposed the Medicare proposal, and patient advocate groups say rescinding it is a setback for hospital  transparency Powerful interests arrayed against greater transparency in the performance of hospitals, physicians, and medical laboratories have stopped a proposed Medicare program that would have allowed the public to see the results of hospital inspections. Stopped in its tracks was an effort by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to make hospital...

Collaboration between Pathologists, Medical Laboratories, and Hospital Staff Substantially Reduced Hospital-Acquired Infections, AHRQ Reports

Decline in hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) overall since 2010 attributed to increased attention to safety protocols and practices by hospital staff in cooperation with clinical laboratory services It’s now been almost nine years since the Medicare Program stopped paying hospitals and other providers for certain hospital-acquired conditions (HACs). Included in this list are hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). The goal is to substantially reduce the number of HACs and HAIs, thus improving...

More People Using Ride-sharing Uber and Lyft to Get to Emergency Rooms for Medical Treatment; Might Medical Laboratories Use These Ride-sharing Services?

Clinical laboratories and pathology groups that use taxicabs to pick up patient specimens and bring them to the lab now have the option of using Uber and Lyft for this service For decades, medical laboratories have used taxicabs to have specimens picked up from one location and driven to the lab for testing. This was a way to handle STAT specimens, for example. Now, with the rise in popularity of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, a burgeoning trend has emerged where people utilize...