Miami physician asks why UnitedHealthcare requires use of the BeaconLBS system for authorization for recommended medical laboratory tests that may help identify lymphoma early
In Florida, the confrontation between one of the nation’s largest health insurance corporations and physicians, clinical laboratory managers, and pathologists continues. The source of this confrontation are the restrictive and burdensome requirements for medical laboratory test ordering imposed last fall by UnitedHealthcare (NYSE:UNH) and administered by BeaconLBS, a business division of Laboratory Corporation of America (NYSE:LH).
For Florida rheumatologist Olga Kromo, M.D., UnitedHealthcare’s new decision-support system that physicians are required to use when ordering clinical laboratory tests is highly flawed. (more…)
Lab Manager Training will take place in Baltimore, San Francisco, Chicago, and Miami
Very shortly, the lack of experienced and competent laboratory managers will become the next intractable staffing problem for the nation’s clinical laboratories and pathology groups. Most medical laboratories—already struggling to find adequate numbers of medical technologists (MT) and clinical laboratory scientists (CLS)—will find themselves with an even more acute shortage of skilled managers at every level, from bench supervision to senior laboratory leadership.
Clinical lab managers about to retire in waves
Simply said, the nation’s laboratory leaders are about to experience a demographic time bomb that will rapidly decimate all levels of lab managers in their clinical pathology laboratories. Few medical laboratory organizations are prepared to respond effectively to the predicted rapid turnover among their most experienced and skilled lab managers.
Of course, the demographic time bomb refers to the coming tidal wave of baby boomer retirements. As a reminder, on January 1, 2011—just 85 days away—the oldest baby boomer turns 65 and becomes eligible for social security and Medicare benefits!
Effort to notify and test as many as 10,555 patients is under way
Reforms in the healthcare system are requiring fundamental changes in how hospitals and other healthcare providers, including clinical laboratories, report medical errors. At the same time, consumers are tracking the quality differences between providers and insisting on more accountability for medical errors.
These points were highlighted in a Dark Daily e-briefing on March 11, 2009, titled “Medical Errors Become a Headline News Item.” At that time, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had made public the discovery of multi-year problems at VA clinics in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Augusta, Georgia. At both sites, improper procedures with diagnostic equipment had been identified. In both situations, the problems meant that thousands of patients may have been exposed to infection.