Federal Government Is Sending Nearly $11 Billion to States for COVID-19 Clinical Laboratory Testing and Testing-Related Activities

Questions remain, however, over how much of the funding will actually reach hospital and health system clinical laboratories For many cash-strapped clinical laboratories in America, the second round of stimulus funds cannot come soon enough. Thus, lab leaders are encouraged by news that Congress’ $484-billion Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act (H.R.266) includes almost $11 billion that will go to states for COVID-19 testing. But how much of that funding will reach the...

CDC Ranks Two More Drug-Resistant Microbes as ‘Urgent Threat’ to Americans; Clinical Laboratories Are Advised to Increase Awareness of Antimicrobial Resistance

In a separate study, HHS finds a 40% increase in sepsis cases, as more patients succumb to infections without effective antibiotics and antimicrobial drugs Given the drastic steps being taken to slow the spread of the Coronavirus in America, it’s easy to forget that significant numbers of patients die each year due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB), other forms of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and in thousands of cases the sepsis that follows the infections. This is why the Centers for...

Hospital Associations and Healthcare Groups Battle HHS Efforts to Expand Pricing Transparency Rules to Include Negotiated Rates with Payers

In a federal lawsuit, seven healthcare organizations and hospitals systems allege HHS exceeded its statutory authority and clinical laboratories will want to watch how this court case unfolds There is quite a brouhaha over the final new federal rule requiring hospitals to allow patients and the public to see the prices they charge for services—including clinical laboratory and anatomic pathology prices. Some very influential hospital associations and healthcare systems are opposing...

Preparing Clinical Laboratories for Invasive Federal Enforcement of Fraud and Abuse Laws, Increased Scrutiny by Private Payers, New Education Audits, and More

Medical laboratory leaders need to take opportunities to stay abreast of government and payer activity, particularly as payer audits become tougher, say legal experts Even compliant clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups are reporting tougher audits and closer scrutiny of the medical lab test claims they submit for payment. This is an unwelcome development at a time when falling lab test prices, narrowing networks, and more prior-authorization requirements are already making it...

DOJ Pursues Organizations That Falsely Claim Compliance with Medicare’s EHR Incentive Programs

Clinical laboratories that interface with hospital EHR systems under scrutiny by the DOJ could be drawn into the investigations Officials at the federal US Department of Justice (DOJ) continue to pursue fraud cases involving health systems that allegedly have falsely attested to complying with the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) adoption incentive programs (now known as the Promoting Interoperability Programs). This is important for clinical laboratory leaders to watch,...
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