As Both Senator and President, Obama Actively Supports Personalized Medicine and Genetic Testing

It may be that personalized medicine is becoming one of those All-American icons, like apple pie and mom. That’s because personalized medicine, as a concept and goal for the American healthcare system, seems to have universal support. If true, this is a positive long-term development for clinical laboratories and pathology groups.

Take the new president, for example. Barack Obama has long contended that personalized medicine must be at the heart of health care reform. “The issue of getting the right treatment to the right person goes with his [Obama’s] whole emphasis on health reform,” said Mark McClellan, who headed the FDA and Medicare under the Bush Administration. McClellan was speaking about President Obama during an interview with MSNBC. “If we’re thinking about reforming the healthcare system, we should be thinking about what medicine will be like down the road when healthcare reform is fully implemented,” observed McClellan during his MSNBC interview.


Palomar Pomerado Health Partners with 23andMe for Genetic Testing

Nation’s largest public health district wants to promote personalized medicine

Here’s an unusual development in genetic testing that shows clinical laboratory managers how fast the lab testing marketplace is changing. Two-hospital Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH), California’s largest public health district, recently partnered with 23andMe to introduce a personalized medicine service in North San Diego County.

PPH now sells 23andMe genetic test kits for $399 at express care centers in two grocery stores and an outpatient center. The test kit, Time magazine’s 2008 pick for Invention of the Year, comes with a 30-minute education session by a nurse practitioner.


Raising the Performance Bar for Hospital Infection Control

As more attention is paid to reducing the number of healthcare-associated infections (HIAs), hospitals and health systems respond with proactive programs to eliminate many obvious sources of such infections. In turn, this affects hospital laboratories, since they play a key role in every hospital’s infection control program.

The basic statistics are stunning. Hospital-acquired infections (HIAs) affect nearly 2 million Americans annually, resulting in 90,000 deaths and up to $6.5 billion in extra costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).


Economic Stimulus Gives Workers Second Chance for COBRA Coverage at Reduced Premium

As previously suggested by earlier Dark Daily e-briefings, studies of the 46 million uninsured Americans suggest there’s more to this statistic than a big number implies. Up to two-thirds of the uninsured either qualify for government-sponsored insurance or could afford to buy coverage.

But no one disagrees that widespread layoffs and elimination of employer-sponsored health coverage are causing the ranks of the uninsured to swell. For every worker who loses health benefits, the multiplier is 3.14-the average size of the U.S. family. Thus, the loss of 3 mllion jobs over the last year translates to about 9.4 million people losing health coverage.