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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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 patients and consumers.

In its survey of more than 7,200 healthcare consumers about their health knowledge, HealthMine determined that about 52% of consumers find it difficult to understand their health information and/or what is required of them to maintain or improve their health.

Knowledge of one’s health, or the health of a loved one, is critical to the management of chronic diseases and other health conditions. In this Internet age of patient portals and mobile health devices, the assumption is that most folks would be comfortable using the new technologies. Apparently, this is not the case. At least not among those HealthMine polled. (more…)

MinuteClinics and Axis-Shield Ink Agreement to Provide Point-of-Care Hemoglobin A1c Tests in 600 CVS Pharmacies

Retail clinics ready to expand into chronic disease management and that can be a threat or an opportunity for clinical laboratories

Dark Daily has often predicted that rapid clinics in retail stores would actively look for opportunities to add specific medical laboratory tests to their on-site service menus. Now the largest retail clinic in the U.S. is set to deploy hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing analyzers in its 600 retail clinic sites throughout the United States.

This deal was announced in November between MinuteClinic, a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS), and Axis-Shield plc (LSE:ASD, OSE:ASD), of Dundee, Scotland. The agreement calls for MinuteClinic to use Axis-Shield’s Afinion analyzer in all 600 of its clinic locations across the nation. The system’s HbA1c assay is CLIA-waived. The fully automated analyzer will allow MinuteClinic’s providers to collect a patient specimen and get the results of the hemoglobin A1c tests in as little as three minutes.

Of course, the business strategy here is to add the clinical services necessary so that providers can serve patients with diabetes in these retail clinic settings. This represents a sizeable market. According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, there are 25.8 million adults and children with diabetes, and only 18.8 million have been diagnosed. Of greater interest for clinical laboratory managers and pathologists, 79 million Americans are considered pre-diabetic and, in 2010, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed among individuals who are 20 years and older.

New Diagnostic Technology Creates Opportunities for Clinical Laboratories to Help Physicians with Faster, More Accurate Diagnoses

Using monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies to detect only human blood in stool, this technology compares favorably when tested against other methodologies

New diagnostic technologies are literally tumbling out of research laboratories and biotech development companies at an increasing pace. The sheer volume of proprietary medical laboratory tests and new molecular diagnostic assays makes it a challenge for pathologists and clinical laboratory managers to identify which new lab tests have the greatest clinical value—and will also be adequately reimbursed by payers.

Each time a clinical laboratory wants to bring up a new medical laboratory test, it requires substantial effort. The laboratory will expend substantial financial, clinical, and operational resources to acquire the instrumentation, run the studies needed to validate the test, and begin the process of educating physicians about the value of the new test and how to use it in their medical practice. (more…)

It’s No Surprise Why More Consumers Use the Internet to Order Lower-Priced Clinical Laboratory Tests

Web-based medical laboratory testing companies give consumers the option to purchase lab tests at cheap prices

It’s nearly impossible to do a web search for any term that includes “medical laboratory tests” and not have the search engine return paid listings for numerous clinical laboratory testing companies organized specifically to allow consumers to order their own lab tests over the Internet. This is a sign that the direct-to-consumer medical laboratory testing marketplace is booming.

These companies seem to be multiplying like rabbits. It is common to see such names as,,,, and pop up in the search engine. For a consumer looking to order their own clinical laboratory tests, these are enticing names. (more…)