News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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Federal Court Issues Ruling in the Gene Patent Case Involving Myriad Genetics and the Association of Molecular Pathology

Many in the clinical laboratory and pathology industry will hold their breath as Myriad seeks to derail gene patent challenge by attacking standing of sole remaining plaintiff

There’s news regarding the widely-watched federal lawsuit that challenges the gene patents owned by Myriad Genetics  (NASDAQ:MYGN). On September 13, a Federal Circuit panel denied the ACLU’s Petition for Rehearing in this case. Clinical laboratory managers and pathologists following this controversial lawsuit will be interested in this latest development.

Since early this year, there have ongoing legal maneuvers by both sides in this case, which is officially titled: Association for Molecular Pathology, et al v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office et al. 09-civ-4515. It is a high profile lawsuit because of its potential to establish important new legal precedents in how and when genes may be patented. (more…)

Moody’s Says Slowest Rate of Growth in 20 Years at Not-For-Profit Hospitals

Poor rates of growth in hospital revenue and admissions is not good news for clinical laboratories

During 2010, not-for-profit hospitals showed the lowest rate of growth in at least two decades, according to a report released by Moody’s Investors Service, a holding of Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO). This may be an early sign that hospital laboratories will soon be asked to work with leaner budgets during the coming year.

In its report, dated August 10, 2011, financial analysts at Moody’s predicted a mean growth rate of 4% in revenue for not-for-profit hospitals. There are multiple and complex factors contributing to the drop in mean revenue growth of not-for-profit hospitals. The report authors wrote that:

Many Hospitals and Doctors Not Happy with Federal Rules for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

Major healthcare stakeholders speaking out with criticisms of federal ACO rules

It may be that the Obama administration bit off more than it can chew with its first release of proposed rules for Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). Lining up in opposition to these rules is an impressive list of the nation’s most respected healthcare organizations. Included are Mayo Clinic, Geisinger Health System, Cleveland Clinic, and Intermountain Healthcare.

Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers will undoubtedly recognize the significance of this opposition. Health officials within the Obama administration have regularly stated that ACOs should be organized to deliver the same type of tightly integrated healthcare that is the standard at Mayo Clinic, Geisinger Health, Cleveland Clinic, and Intermountain Health. Thus, it is not auspicious for the Obama administration that these four institutions are making public statements that, under the ACO rules as now written, they are not inclined to participate.

Clinical Pathology Laboratories Have Opportunity to Learn More about ISO 15189

A2LA, CAP, and QMP-LS to Participate in an Informational Event on January 20th



ISO 15189 is gaining a foothold among laboratories in the United States. Since the first clinical pathology laboratory in the U.S. earned accreditation to “ISO 15189:2007 Medical Laboratories” in 2008, there has been a steady increase in the number of clinical laboratories that have embarked on their own path to accreditation.

This fall, The Dark Report and Dark Daily invited all three of the organizations in North America that offer accreditation services for ISO 15189 to speak at the fourth annual Lab Quality Confab, which took place in San Antonio, Texas, on November 2-3, 2010. It marked the first time that all three of these ISO-accrediting organizations spoke in public at one time and in one place. (more…)

IBM Invests $100 Million in Healthcare Informatics, but That is Not Unusual for IBM

Company will develop solutions for new reimbursement models, evidence-based care, and supporting health service delivery needs

Earlier this fall, IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM) announced plans to invest $100 million specifically to advance IBM capabilities in three key areas of healthcare informatics. That seemed like a big deal that might affect clinical pathology, since IBM is one of the information technology (IT) giants in the United States.

However, Dark Daily editors made a surprising discovery as they researched the news of IBM’s new $100 million healthcare IT investment initiative. IBM has a habit of making $100 million investments in recent years! It has learned that dropping a press release that announces a $100 million IT investment initiative generates plenty of press coverage.