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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DarkDaily.com Weekly E-Briefing Recap – Week Ending May 11th, 2012

Here’s what you may have missed this week in the clinical lab world. It was a busy week…

HHS Proposes One-Year Delay for ICD-10 Implementation: Is This Good News for Clinical Pathology Laboratories?

Published: May 11 2012

AMA opposition to ICD-10 deadline moves HHS to reconsider, while leaving some transition-ready providers rankled

When it comes to implementation of ICD-10 in the United States, the “do it later” crowd seems to have convinced the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of the need to once again move back the compliance date for ICD-10. On April 9, HHS announced a proposed rule to defer implementation by one year, with a new effective date of October 1, 2014.

Clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups have a big stake in a successful transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Among other reasons, Medicare Part B claims for medical laboratory  tests must be submitted with an appropriate ICD code [provided by the physician who ordered the lab tests] for the clinical lab or pathology group to be paid by the Medicare program.

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Sony Makes Sizable Investments in Medical Devices and Clinical Pathology Laboratory Testing

Published: May 9 2012

Consumer electronics giant wants to create patient-friendly medical devices and diagnostic kits that will be used in point-of-care settings

Sony is laying groundwork for a major expansion into the world of medical devices, with a particular interest in medical laboratory testing and diagnostic test kits. Experts point to Sony’s new strategy as a sign that prospects in diagnostic testing remain incredibly strong.

Citing unnamed sources, the Israeli business daily Globes printed a story reporting that consumer electronics giant Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) is actively seeking to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Israeli medical technologies.

Confluence of Electronics and Medical Devices Heats Up Sector

This is a major strategy change for Sony and company officials state that Sony will rely less on consumer electronics as it shifts its focus to other sectors, particularly medical devices and clinical diagnostics, in an effort to revive earnings. This was reported in a story reported by Business Week.

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Duke University Researchers Demonstrate that Non-invasive Optical Biopsy Detects Cancer

Published: May 7 2012

New technology could reduce or even eliminate the need for clinical pathology laboratories to utilize tissue biopsies in the diagnosis of certain cancers

“Cancer flashlight” is the nickname some have given to a system that uses novel spectroscopic techniques to detect pre-cancerous cells in the colon. Developed by bioengineers at Duke University, the device may offer an alternative to current biopsy methods for detecting cancer and pre-cancer by anatomic pathologists.

The new technology may be a way to detect abnormal, dysplastic cells in the epithelium of various tissues in a non-invasive way, wrote The Atlantic in a story it recently published. The Atlantic thinks this technology breakthrough may be significant because approximately 85% of all cancers begin within the layers of the epithelium in various parts of the body.

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Beckman Coulter Acquired by Danaher as In Vitro Diagnostics Industry Consolidates

Clinical pathology laboratory customers of Beckman Coulter shouldn’t see major changes

Yesterday came news that Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR) of Washington, D.C., would acquire Beckman Coulter, Inc., (NYSE: BEC) of Brea, California, in a transaction valued at $6.8 billion. Beckman is among the world’s larger manufacturers of in vitro diagnostics (IVD) analyzers and automation for clinical pathology laboratories.

For pathologists and medical laboratory administrators, the significance of the acquisition is that consolidation continues in the IVD testing industry. Beckman Coulter itself grew to substantial size through a series of acquisitions it completed over the past two decades. For 2009, Beckman Coulter reported revenue of $3.3 billion.

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