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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Reliable, High-Quality Clinical Laboratories Continue to Be in Short Supply in Nigeria Despite Efforts to Upgrade Accreditation and Professionalism

Government officials and laboratory scientists urge citizens to ‘patronize only approved medical laboratory facilities and demand quality services’

In Nigeria, government officials and medical laboratory scientists are speaking out about the poor state of medical diagnoses across the country despite their efforts to upgrade accreditation and professionalism of the clinical laboratories that operate in Nigeria.

The widespread call for all medical laboratories to operate according to international standards reflects recognition by patients that they are not getting quality care in the African nation’s clinical laboratories. That is because most operate with obsolete medical laboratory equipment, untrained laboratory staff, and little regulation or government oversight.

“Healthcare providers in developing countries, like ours, lack basic diagnostic tools that would have been taken for granted in developed countries,” declared Olusola Akinniyi, M.B.B.S., Managing Director/CEO of Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc of Nigeria. “In order to achieve the best possible medical outcome, advanced diagnostic examinations need to be applied to diagnose the patient’s underlying health problems precisely.” (more…)

Rising Patient Bad Debt Levels Reported by Hospitals and Clinical Pathology Laboratories

Blame it on employers requiring higher deductibles of employees, often starting at $1,500 per year

Employers continue to increase the amount of deductibles and co-pays in their health benefit plans. This has a direct consequence for clinical laboratories and pathology groups, because it often creates the need to collect more money from patients at the time of service.

A recent survey showed that employers are changing health benefit plans to require workers to pay more money for both insurance coverage and medical care, a story in Modern Healthcare reported. Among such changes to employer-sponsored health plans are higher deductibles, higher premiums, greater employee liability for cost of care, and greater responsibility for health-impacting lifestyle choices.

Medical Laboratories in Toronto Move Forward with Digital Pathology and Clinical Lab Consolidation

Dark Daily visits the anatomic pathology department and clinical laboratory at University Health Network

DATELINE: Toronto, Ontario, Canada—Here in the downtown area of Ontario’s largest city is a healthcare organization known as University Health Network (UHN) that operates one of the province’s larger consolidated clinical laboratory organizations. In support of its hospitals, the UHN Laboratory provides an impressive menu of medical laboratory tests.

In Canada, the United States, and other developed nations, there are ongoing efforts to consolidate clinical laboratory testing across multiple hospitals that are clustered nearby to each other. Thus, some outcomes seen today at the UHN laboratory provide useful insights into the benefits of similar projects to integrate—within one lab organization—the medical laboratory testing activities that are delivered to all the hospitals participating in the consolidated laboratory organization.


Pathologists Soon to say Sayonara to Glass Slides!

Digital Pathology Imaging: Coming Soon to a Pathology Group near You!

Will pathologists soon say “sayonara” to glass slides? Plenty of smart money already bets the answer to that question is “yes”! Every pathologist in the United States and abroad should be watching developments in whole slide imaging and digital pathology systems. That’s because digital pathology imaging is a trend with momentum-and it also has the potential to be disruptive, although probably not in the short term.

One powerful sign that digital imaging in pathology is ready to go mainstream is the take-up of digital imaging solutions and digital pathology systems by leading pathology laboratories in the United States and developed countries across the globe. These are academic and tertiary center pathology labs, along with major private pathology companies. As the pathology profession’s first-movers and early adopters, it is these laboratories which set the pace for the entire profession. Their acceptance and growing use of digital imaging and digital pathology systems can be taken as evidence that the current generation of imaging and informatics technologies perform adequately.

However, there is another powerful force propelling digital imaging forward in anatomic pathology. It is the emergence of molecular assays which incorporate digital images and use either computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) or pattern recognition software to help the pathologist make a precise diagnosis. By design, these molecular tests require the pathologist to work from a digital image of the specimen. At The Dark Report‘s  second annual Molecular Summit on the Integration of In Vivo and In Vitro Diagnostics, conducted last February in Philadelphia, examples of these types of emerging assays were abundant. (more…)

General Electric and Abbott Laboratories Cancel Their $8.13 Billion Deal

After the markets closed yesterday, General Electric (NYSE: GE) and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) released announcements that the two companies had terminated the pending sale of Abbott’s two diagnostic business units to General Electric.

Abbott’s press release made the announcement in two sentences: “Abbott and GE have mutually agreed to terminate their contract for the sale of Abbott’s core laboratory and point-of-care diagnostics businesses to GE. The two companies were unable to agree on final terms and conditions of the proposed sale.”

GE’s press release said just a bit more: “General Electric announced today that GE and Abbott have agreed to mutually terminate their agreement relating to GE’s acquisition of Abbott’s primary in vitro and point-of-care diagnostics businesses. GE and Abbott worked diligently to complete the transaction but were unable to reach agreement on final terms and conditions. As a result, they agreed it was in the best interests of both companies to mutually terminate their agreement and discussions.”

The break-up of this deal is a significant development. For General Electric, it was a major healthcare acquisition. GE was ready to purchase Abbott’s primary in vitro diagnostics (IVD) business unit, along with a point-of-care testing business. Together, these Abbott businesses were estimated to generate about $2.5 billion in revenue last year. In fact, the price to be paid for of the Abbott diagnostics purchase was only slightly less than what GE paid for Amersham PLC in 2001, which was more than $9 billion.

There will be plenty of questions about why this deal fell apart. Was this a result of a changed financial picture at General Electric? Was something uncovered during due diligence that affected the acquisition as originally priced and structured – and the two parties could not negotiate a revised set of mutually-agreeable terms? Did either buyer or seller smell out a better deal, giving them motivation to see this acquisition agreement come apart?

Last year, Siemens (NYSE: SI) made similar investments to stake out a major position in the IVD marketplace. GE’s decision to abandon its acquisition of Abbott’s IVD businesses will probably not be the end of GE’s interest in in vitro diagnostics. It is probable that, in the coming months or years, GE will find another attractive IVD company to acquire.

Related Articles:

GE Announces Termination of Contract with Abbott

Abbott Announces Termination of Contract with GE

GE, Abbott end $8 bln deal for diagnostics business

GE, Abbott nix proposed $8B deal
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