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...

Recent Study Confirms that Clinical Laboratories and Pathologists Have an Opportunity to Help Educate Consumers in Key Health Information, such as Cholesterol, and Blood Glucose Levels

Reviewing medical laboratory test results online is a popular resource among consumers, says a different study by Kaiser Permanente More than half of patients and consumers have trouble understanding their health information, along with the steps needed to further improve their health, according to a recent study conducted by HealthMine. This gap in consumer understanding represents a great opportunity for clinical laboratories and pathology groups that want to forge stronger bonds with...

Because It Remains Tough to Achieve Interoperability among EHRs, Congress is Proposing Legislation to Resolve That Issue in Ways That May Help Medical Laboratories

One new federal law forbids health IT vendors and providers from deliberately blocking information-sharing with competing EHR systems Several years deep into its effort to get physicians and hospitals to use electronic health record (EHR) systems, the federal government has yet to come up with a way to improve interoperability—the ability of EHRs to interface and communicate with other systems. Stage one and stage two Meaningful Use guidelines have failed to successfully address the barriers...

Obama’s $215 Million Precision Medicine Initiative: Will Congress Fund It and Can It Advance Genetic Testing and the Value of Clinical Laboratory Services?

As proposed, the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative would incorporate a large, volunteer study cohort in innovative ways Even as a new presidential initiative to boost precision medicine makes headlines, there is uncertainty as to how the program can be funded. The Precision Medicine Initiative was announced by President Obama on January 30, 2015. Many pathologists, clinical chemists, and medical laboratory scientists recognize that such a program would pump additional funds into the...

Enforcement of FDA’s Unique Device Identification Law Begins as Hospitals, ASCs, and Nursing Homes Must Now Report Adverse Patient Events from High-Risk Medical Devices

Some clinical laboratory and pathology equipment are Class III (high-risk) medical devices and may be eventually subject to FDA adverse patient event reporting rules Effective on September 1, 2014, providers using Class III (high-risk) medical devices are required to report adverse patient events involving such devices. That reporting is to include the unique device identification (UDIs) labels of the Class III device. The primary goal of the new regulation is to have specified providers...