House Bill HR 1313 Would Allow Employers to Demand Workers’ Genetic Test Results or Face Up to 30% Increase in Healthcare Premiums

Critics claim the bill would remove genetic privacy and discrimination protections provided by the 2008 GINA Act and other federal laws and might cause medical laboratories performing these tests to become embroiled in employee-employer disputes Pathology groups and clinical laboratories are closely watching how society reacts to information that comes from genetic testing. Thus, the groundswell of opposition against a House bill that would require employees participating in workplace wellness...

Study Finds Occupying Hospital Bed Previously Used by Patient Receiving Antibiotics Increases Odds of Developing C. diff Infection

Latest research provides new opportunities for clinical laboratories to demonstrate how testing can help curb hospital-acquired infections Pathologists, microbiologists, and other healthcare providers have long been aware that hospital patients taking antibiotics are at higher risk of contracting the potentially deadly Clostridium difficile infection (C. diff). But new research adds an interesting twist to this issue. Recent research indicates that being a “second user” of a bed may be another...

Hospitals with Lowest 30-Day Readmission Rates Succeed at Reducing Rates by Improving Care Coordination and Monitoring of Patients After Discharge

Recent studies indicate that high readmission rates often may be due to patient demographics, giving clinical laboratories an opportunity to use lab test results in ways that minimize the need for specific patients to be readmitted Medicare’s efforts to reduce hospital readmission rates have left most hospitals facing reductions in Medicare payments. However, a recent ranking of hospitals by the Modern Healthcare Data Center indicates that influences other than inferior care—such as patient...

Patient Healthcare Costs in High-cost States Can Be Double Those in Low-cost States; Clinical Laboratory Tests Are Among Procedures with Greatest Price Fluctuations

Findings of this HCCI study, may increase pressure for more transparency in clinical laboratory and pathology test prices Consumers in states with high healthcare costs may spend more than twice as much for common medical procedures as patients in other states. That’s a surprise finding in a milestone report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI). The report also revealed that pathology and clinical laboratory tests are among the services with the widest price fluctuations. Prices also...

New Study Indicates Shopping Tools Alone Might Not Lower Medical Spending, Even Though More Patients Want to Know Prices for Clinical Laboratory Tests and Other Procedures

JAMA study finds that most workers with access to web-based price comparison tools did not use them, nor did they spend less on medical care than other workers Can shopping tools designed to help patients compare providers (including medical laboratories), quality, and prices, make a contribution to reducing the increase in healthcare costs? A new study suggests that such shopping tools make only modest contributions to controlling the cost of care. Published May 3 in the Journal of the...