HHS Office of Inspector General Report Finds ‘Steep Decreases’ in Medicare Beneficiaries Receiving Clinical Laboratory Testing During COVID-19 Pandemic’s Early Months

OIG warns that without adequate clinical laboratory testing healthcare organizations could see more deaths and increased spending Clinical laboratory leaders and pathologists know that lab test volume decreased dramatically during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. That was primarily because community lockdowns stopped people from seeing their doctors for the standard range of chronic health conditions, many of which require clinical laboratory tests for diagnosis and chronic disease...

Clinical Laboratories Could Soon Diagnose 17 Diseases with a Single Breath Analyzer Test from Israel’s Institute of Technology

The Technion breathalyzer would give pathology groups and medical laboratories unprecedented ability to support physicians in diagnosing and treating cancers, chronic diseases, and other illnesses Readers of Dark Daily know that several pathology research teams in America and the UK are developing breath analyzer tests that can detect everything from lung cancer to early-stage infections. Clinical laboratories will soon have a plethora of breath-related tests from which to choose. Now there’s...

New Point of Care Test for Anemia That Patients Can Administer Themselves Has Potential to Impact Pathology Groups and Clinical Laboratories

Developed by researchers at Emory University, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and the Georgia Institute of Technology, the anemia test device is awaiting clearance by the FDA New diagnostic technology may shift some hemoglobin testing for anemia out of clinical laboratories and into near-patient settings. It may also be possible to use this new diagnostic device for patient self-testing. The developers describe this as a new, easy, inexpensive point-of-care test (POCT) that detects anemia....

Medicare Considers Denying Payment for Routine Vitamin D Testing

One Medicare contractor is proposing a new policy that would effectively end payment to labs and physicians for routine testing for Vitamin D deficiency. In its proposed local coverage determination (LCD), the Medicare carrier indicates that it would cover Vitamin D testing only for patients with chronic kidney disease, osteomalacia, hypercalcemia, and rickets. The LCD states that other testing for Vitamin D would be denied. The draft (or proposed) LCD is dated February 6 and was posted on the...
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