Media Reporting Shows Some Clinical Laboratories Charge Significantly Higher than Average Prices for COVID-19 Tests—and It Is Perfectly Legal

When people receive COVID-19 testing at an out-of-network facility, federal law requires insurers to pay that clinical laboratory’s posted ‘cash price’ when negotiated prices have not previously been established In the latest example that some COVID-19 testing companies are charging significantly higher prices than others, The New York Times (NYT) recently reported that one COVID lab company with “more than a dozen testing sites” throughout the US was charging $380 for a COVID-19 rapid test...

Smartwatch-based Fitness Apps Gaining Popularity Over Other Fitness Wearables such as Fitbit. Will This Affect the Data Clinical Laboratories See Streaming Their Way?

Consumer demand for health trackers combined with other smartwatch capabilities is driving a trend away from simple health trackers and toward more complex devices, such as the Apple Watch, for their more powerful capabilities It is still an open question as to whether clinical laboratories will experience an onrush of patient test data streaming at them from healthcare consumer portals and mobile devices. The popularity of wearable fitness/medical technology has been widely touted in the...

Consumer Reports Says Thousands of Doctors Facing Medical Probation Continue to See Patients; Calls for More Patient Access to Physician Disciplinary Records

Latest calls for easier public access to information on physician performance and quality is a reminder to clinical laboratories and pathology groups of the trend to greater transparency on provider outcomes If any clinical laboratory executive or pathologist still doubts that more transparency of provider outcomes is a topic of interest to patients, they have only to look at Consumer Reports, well-respected for its advocacy on behalf of consumers. Consumer Reports is using multiple ways to...

Several of Becker’s Top 2014 Health Information Technology ‘Game Changer’ Trends Have Major Implications for the Nation’s Clinical Pathology Laboratories

In particular, medical laboratories and pathology groups should be doing better at using information technology to meet the needs of consumers and to support physician workflow Improving patient-provider communication and speeding clinician workflow are two of the top 2014 game changers in healthcare information technology (HIT) cited by a recent report. Each of these top 2014 game changers can be expected to change how patients and physicians interact with their clinical laboratory and...

Many Genetic Tests Offered to Consumers Over the Internet are Misleading and of No Practical Use

GAO Gives Congress a Poor Report on Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests Sold by Web-Based Companies According to the Wall Street Journal, Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests from the four companies 23andMe, Navigenics, deCODE genetics, and Pathway Genomics Corp, are generating results “that are misleading and of little or no practical use.”  This was the finding of the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) in its recently released report. Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers will be...
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