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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Lab Industry Executive Writes Op-Ed Warning That Proposed Medicare Regulations Threaten Clinical Laboratory Testing Industry

Implementation of the proposed Medicare rules is likely to lead to the financial failure of many smaller medical laboratories, thus disrupting medical care in many communities across the United States

Three newly proposed Medicare regulations announced last month are major threats to the clinical laboratory testing industry. In fact, one medical laboratory industry executive asserts that implementation of the proposed Medicare rules could result to such an extent that only two large testing companies may be left if the proposed Medicare regulations become final.

Proposed in July, these Medicare rules, “would change the practice of pathology in this country and severely affect patient care—especially for patients with cancer,” wrote Marc D. Grodman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc.  (NASDAQ: BRLI), of Elmwood Park, New Jersey. Grodman’s opinions were published in an op-ed article in The Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C.

The Hill is published daily when the U.S. Congress is in session. It is an influential publication and is widely read by elected officials, their staffs, lobbyists, and government officials. (more…)

California’s John Muir Health Closes Core Lab, Sells Its Clinical Laboratory Outreach and Reference Business to LabCorp

Laboratory Corporation of America gets 26 MuirLab Patient Service Centers (PSCs) in Northern California

Another hospital system is exiting the clinical laboratory outreach business. John Muir Health in Walnut Creek, California, agreed on Tuesday to sell its MuirLab business to Laboratory Corporation of America (NYSE: LH) in Burlington, North Carolina.

In the deal, LabCorp will take over and operate 26 MuirLab Patient Service Centers (PSCs) in parts of Northern California, including Contra Costa, Alameda, and Solano counties. In addition, LabCorp is purchasing the client list of office-based physicians and hospitals serve by MuirLab. LabCorp will also be the preferred provider of reference lab services for John Muir Health and its affiliates.

John Muir Health will retain its two hospital-based labs in Walnut Creek and Concord. Terms were not announced and the sale is due to close in November.


Bio-Reference Laboratories Acquires Hunter Laboratories as a Way to Enter California’s Competitive Clinical Laboratory Marketplace

Acquisition gives BRLI a core laboratory facility in Northern California, along with Hunter Laboratories’ Medi-Cal license, 29 patient service centers, and its courier network

Yesterday’s announcement that BioReference Laboratories, Inc. (Nasdaq:BRLI), of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, had acquired a majority interest in Hunter Laboratories—a clinical laboratory company in Campbell, California—caught many medical laboratory executives by surprise.

It is a strategic move that gives Bio-Reference Laboratories an important beachhead for developing its laboratory testing business in the large and growing California market. This is the first time that BRLI will own and operate a licensed clinical-laboratory facility west of the Mississippi River. (more…)

Supreme Court Strikes down Myriad Gene Patents in Unanimous Vote; Decision Is Expected to Benefit Clinical Pathology Laboratories

Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers can expect to see an expansion of genetic testing in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Myriad case

Pathologists and clinical laboratory professionals got a major victory on June 13. That’s when the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled 9-0 to end the 30-year-old practice of awarding patents on human genes. The unanimous decision invalidates certain hotly contested patents held by Myriad Genetics, Inc., (NASDAQ: MYGN) on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

Moreover, this Supreme Court decision also opens the doors to other medical laboratories  to develop their own diagnostics around the BRCA genes and compete for breast-cancer testing market share. (more…)

Volume of Clinical Pathology Laboratory Specimens Increases at Bio-Reference and Sonic Healthcare

Meanwhile, both Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp report second quarter declines in specimen volume

Fewer patients visiting physician offices during second quarter 2010 is considered to be one reason why specimen volume declined at clinical pathology laboratory testing giants Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX) and Laboratory Corporation of America (NYSE: LH) during that three-month period.

For second quarter, LabCorp reported a 2% decline in specimen volume, along with a 4.2% increase in revenue. At Quest Diagnostics, the specimen volume decline was 1.3% and revenues declined by 1.4% in the second quarter 2010, compared to second quarter 2009.