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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CLMA’s Inaugural ICE Award Recognizes the Initiative at Seattle Children’s Hospital Laboratories that Decreased Unnecessary Genetic Tests while Contributing to Better Patient Outcomes

The Clinical Laboratory Management Association is encouraging medical laboratories to submit abstracts about their programs to deliver more value to patients and physicians through the use of clinical pathology laboratory tests

Now, more than ever, the house of laboratory medicine needs to be publishing clinic studies and evidence that the money spent on appropriate medical laboratory testing is returned tenfold from improved patient outcomes and substantial reductions in the cost per episode of care that can be associated with the use of those lab tests.

It is this credible evidence that can help shape healthcare policy in positive ways, while encouraging government and private payers to recognize the true value of clinical laboratory tests and thus establish adequate reimbursement to insure the continuation of high-quality lab testing services in the United States. (more…)

CLMA Is Launching New Program to Help Clinical Laboratories Develop Patient-Centric Services and Deliver More Value to ACOs and Medical Homes

To help medical laboratories understand how to deliver patient-centric lab testing services, the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA) has launched its “Increasing Clinical Effectiveness” (ICE) program. CLMA President Paul Epner (pictured above) will be conducting a free webinar about the ICE program on August 12 and the details of ICE and the webinar can be found at the CLMA website. (Photo copyright CLMA.)

Increasing Clinical Effectiveness’ is the name of new initiative that CLMA is making available to all medical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups

There is now little disagreement that the U.S. healthcare system is in the midst of a transformation away from reactive and acute care and to proactive, integrated clinical care. This is why clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups across the nation now find themselves at a critical crossroads.

This trend presents medical laboratory managers, pathologists, and clinical chemists who lead the nation’s labs with an important question: When is it time to shift the lab’s focus away from its traditional “lab-centric” emphasis and position the lab as a “patient-centric” clinical service?

Energetic Microbiologist-Turned-Ambassador Puts Out a Call to Action for Medical Laboratory Volunteers for Haiti, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic

From volunteer services, to replaced equipment, to outdated NCCLS materials, anything can be of help in poor countries where no medical laboratories come anywhere close to those of the caliber many of us take for granted.

Carla Orner never sleeps. No one as busy as she is has time to waste on even a little shut-eye. She is the full-time ambassador for Heart to Heart International. Her relationship with Heart to Heart International (HHI) began during her attendance at a regional meeting of a medical laboratory organization. “A speaker who was a HHI employee asked for medical laboratory volunteers to assist in its mission,” she says. The rest is history, as the saying goes!  She works with doctors and nurses who volunteer, but her primary goal is to attract more medical laboratory technicians and technologists to join the volunteer effort through Heart to Heart. One tip that Orner shares with potential volunteers is that of the “mobile” CLIA license, which allows the establishment of a lab that can be operated anywhere in the United States.  In all her experience in filling out forms for CLIA, Orner confessed, “I never saw the box labeled ‘mobile.’”

Orner also continues to present at CLMA and ASCP, among other organizations’ annual and regional meetings.  For many years, she held a position as general manager of Regional Laboratory Alliance in Kansas City, MO, where she led an integrated network of community based hospitals and independent reference laboratories. Her 36 years of laboratory experience included night shift, evening shift, and 15 years microbiology. Among all of that, Orner was awarded a B.S. in Medical Technology from Central Missouri State University, and an MBA from MidAmerica Nazarene University. (more…)

Clinical Laboratories and Pathologists Dodge a Bullet as CMS Publishes Proposed Repeal Rule Dealing with Physician Signature Requirement on Paper Requisitions for Lab Tests

Proposed repeal rule was published in yesterday’s Federal Register

Yesterday, pathologists and clinical laboratory managers got an early Fourth of July present. That’s because the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the proposed rule that repeals the requirement that paper requisitions for medical laboratory tests must have the physician’s signature.

This rule had been mandated by the 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule that was to take effect on January 1, 2011. In response to the negative response to this rule from important sectors of healthcare, including laboratory medicine professionals, hospital groups, and physician associations, as well as both Houses of Congress, CMS deferred implementation of the rule for the first 90 days of 2011. (See Dark Daily, “Good News for Clinical Laboratories as CMS Delays Physician’s Signature Requirement, December 22, 2010.


Good News for Clinical Laboratories as CMS Delays Physician’s Signature Requirement

Medicare Program Won’t Enforce the New Rule For At Least 90 Days

Yesterday brought welcome news for all clinical laboratories and pathology group practices in the United States. That’s because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted an announcement on its website that it would delay enforcement of the final rule requiring that physician’s signatures be on all paper requisitions for Medicare patients starting January 1, 2011. This includes laboratory test requisitions.

This rule was part of the Final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule published in the Federal Register on November 29, 2010. In short, once enacted, the rule will require all paper requisitions sent to Medicare to have a doctor’s signature to be reimbursed. (more…)