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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Noted Clinical Laboratory and Anatomic Pathology Legal Experts Jane Pine Wood and Richard Cooper to Address 2017’s Important Changes in Legal, Compliance, and Managed Care Issues for Lab Industry

Medical labs must comply with PAMA lab test price market reporting in 2017, while pathologists will see big changes in Medicare physician payments because of MIPS

It is now budget-planning season for the medical laboratories of hospital and health systems. This fall, lab administrators report grim news as they try to anticipate all the changes coming to the clinical laboratory industry in 2017—just 11 weeks away.

There is a growing consensus among lab executives and pathologists who are the business leaders of their groups that labs will not see any relief in 2017 to the multi-year decline in lab test prices that actually intensified in the past 24 months.

One factor is their assessment of the coverage and pricing decisions being made by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) for specialty lab tests. The other factor is their experience with private payers who continue excluding local clinical labs from narrow networks and who insist on price cuts when managed care contracts are renewed. (more…)

Changing Reimbursement for Clinical Pathology Laboratory Testing and Direct-to-Consumer Testing Discussed at California Clinical Laboratory Association Conference in San Diego

The end of fee-for-service payments has huge implications for U.S. medical laboratories and anatomic pathology practices

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA—In the American healthcare system today, the era of fee-for-service medicine will soon end. This development has huge implications for every clinical laboratory and anatomic pathology practice in the United States because fee-for-service is their primary source of revenue.

This week at the 2013 Annual Conference of the California Clinical Laboratory Association (CCLA), no single topic got more attention than that of reimbursement for clinical laboratory tests and anatomic pathology services. (more…)

British Health Authorities Criticize Medical Laboratory Tests for Consumers

It’s not just in the United States that Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) medical laboratory tests are coming under criticism, as reported in recent weeks by Dark Daily. Two prominent organizations in the United Kingdom (UK) have issued reports with serious criticisms of what are known as “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) clinical laboratory tests in that country.

Researchers identified the several ways that DIY test in the UK, often bought over-the-counter in pharmacies, could mislead or harm consumers. In our earlier Dark Daily e-briefing titled “Medical Laboratory Tests for Consumers Under Investigation on Two Continents,” we presented pathologists and clinical laboratory managers with the results of a General Accountability Office (GAO) study that was critical of DTC medical laboratory tests.


Medical Laboratory Tests for Consumers Under Investigation on Two Continents

Government agencies in both the United States and the United Kingdom look at direct-to-consumer (DTC) tests

Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) medical tests are under attack by multiple federal agencies here in the United States, even as authorities in the United Kingdom (UK) similarly question the potential of these genetic tests and molecular diagnostic assays to harm and/or mislead consumers.

Of course, many pathologists and clinical laboratory managers here in the United States know that multiple government agencies have spent the last year scrutinizing the DTC market. There is the possibility that new regulations and laws enacted as a result of these investigations could not only bring DTC genetic testing under tighter government oversight, but these same regulations might also ensnare certain genetic tests and medical laboratory assays that have appropriate uses in clinical care.


Stanford Medical Students Undergo Genetic Testing to Study Their Own Genotypes

Pathology departments may want to create similar courses to teach medical students how to interpret genetic and genotyping tests

Genetic testing of participating university students was part of a special class that was conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine last summer. The genetic pathology test was voluntary for the 54 students who participated in the eight-week course that was designed by a student.

The genotyping happened as part of the class, titled “Genetics-210, Genomics and Personalized Medicine.” It was intended to help medical students learn how to interpret genetic tests, and also to help them gain an understanding of ho learning the results of such tests could affect future patients.