HHS Office of Inspector General Report Finds ‘Steep Decreases’ in Medicare Beneficiaries Receiving Clinical Laboratory Testing During COVID-19 Pandemic’s Early Months

OIG warns that without adequate clinical laboratory testing healthcare organizations could see more deaths and increased spending Clinical laboratory leaders and pathologists know that lab test volume decreased dramatically during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. That was primarily because community lockdowns stopped people from seeing their doctors for the standard range of chronic health conditions, many of which require clinical laboratory tests for diagnosis and chronic disease...

Four Regulatory Developments Coming This Fall That Are Relevant for Clinical Laboratory Leaders and Pathology Group Managers

Regulators and lawmakers are considering proposed changes to CLIA and PAMA involving medical laboratory services Clinical laboratories and pathology groups should monitor a series of federal regulatory developments underway this fall. The proposals and documents will potentially affect how lab managers and staff do their jobs and how much Medicare reimbursement medical laboratories receive for certain diagnostic tests next year. Among the initiatives under consideration are the following:...

Department of Justice Recovers $1.8B from Medical Laboratory Owners and Others Accused of Alleged Healthcare Fraud During COVID-19 Pandemic

It did not take long for fraudsters to pursue hundreds of billions of federal dollars designated to support SARS-CoV-2 testing and it is rare when federal prosecutors bring cases only a few months after illegal lab testing schemes are identified As if the COVID-19 pandemic weren’t bad enough, unscrupulous clinical laboratory operators quickly sought to take advantage of the critical demand for SARS-CoV-2 testing and defraud the federal government. Unfortunately for the many defendants in these...

OIG Report Finds Management Deficiencies at VA Hospital Kept Alcohol-Impaired Pathologist on the Job

VA Office of Inspector General recommends changes in management processes after doctor is sentenced to long federal prison term In a compelling report, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that a host of management failures and “deficiencies in the facility’s quality management processes” at an Arkansas VA hospital contributed to “thousands of diagnostic errors” throughout the tenure of the facility’s Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medical...

Federal Investigations into Alleged Kickback Schemes between Hospitals and Physicians Increase in Number and Scope

Hospitals and other organizations are finding ways to pay physicians for referrals in ways that don’t always look like kickbacks Hospitals nationwide are being scrutinized by the federal Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for allegedly violating federal anti-kickback statutes. This will be of interest to clinical pathology laboratories that have been under a similar spotlight for various referral-kickback schemes and arrangements in the last few years, which Dark Daily repeatedly...
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