New At-Home CBC Device Enables Complete Blood Testing for Cancer Treatments and Biological/Viral Monitoring

Chronic disease monitoring at home has become a boon to patients as well as hospitals that are finding cost savings in programs designed to monitor/treat patients at external locations Many clinical pathologists and medical laboratory scientists will be wary about the news that a California company wants to have cancer patients do their own CBCs at home, and  that a device to enable such testing is being prepped to go through the FDA clearance process. Home-based medicine care and chronic...

Medicare Clinical Laboratory Price Cuts and Cost-cutting Predicted to be 2018’s Two Biggest Trends for Medical Laboratories in the United States

To offset the loss of revenue from the price cuts to Medicare Part B clinical laboratory tests, labs will need to aggressively—but wisely—slash costs to balance their budgets Any day now, Medicare officials will announce the Medicare Part B Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) for 2018. Both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) have issued reports indicating that these fee cuts will total $400...

As Medical Laboratory Test Utilization Grows, Health Insurers Develop Programs to Manage Rising Costs

After seeing a rise in the volume of clinical lab tests physicians order, managed care plans are develop a variety of strategies to manage utilization and costs Health insurers are taking more aggressive actions to control the cost of clinical laboratory testing. For many years, clinical laboratories and pathology groups have been concerned about the strategies used by Medicare to control the utilization and costs of medical laboratory tests. Private health insurers usually follow the actions...

Study at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Determines that 30% of All Clinical Laboratory Tests Are Overused or Medically Unnecessary

BIDMC researchers show that, on average, 30% of all lab tests may be unnecessary and that an equal percentage of tests should not be ordered at all Every pathologist and clinical laboratory professional knows how often physicians order a medical laboratory test that is inappropriate or unnecessary. That is a problem because, each time a clinician orders an inappropriate test, patient harm is possible. Yet this issue gets little attention from the medical profession at large. Thus, it is...

Study at Johns Hopkins Shows Price Transparency Works: Physicians Order Fewer Clinical Pathology Laboratory Tests When They Know the Cost

Giving physicians Information on the price of medical laboratory tests at the time of order decreased overall use of such tests by about 9%, researchers said.  Physicians order fewer clinical laboratory tests when they know how much they cost, according to a recent study at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.Those findings are good news for hospital-based pathologists  who must often respond to physicians who order expensive esoteric tests that are inappropriate for the patient’s...