Public scrutiny of exorbitant hospital ‘chargemaster’ prices for health services and medical laboratory tests is growing
Publication by Time Magazine of an in-depth investigation of the exorbitant prices charged to patients by many hospitals continues to cause a stir among both healthcare policymakers and patient advocates. Clinical laboratory executives and pathologists should take note of this public debate.
The exposé was published by Time on March 4 under the title “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us”. It was authored by prominent journalist and entrepreneur Steven Brill, the founder of Court TV. Dark Daily suggests that this is useful reading for pathologists and clinical laboratory managers who want to stay abreast of the trend to provide patients with greater transparency in hospital prices and outcomes. (more…)
Clinical laboratories may see a reduction in the early-morning crowds of fasting patients who have come in for cholesterol testing
For the clinical laboratory testing industry, a new Canadian study suggesting that people may not need to fast before getting a cholesterol test could prove a boon for staffing and operations at patient service centers. That’s because fasting-patients crowd phlebotomy centers in the early morning hours to get their blood drawn so they can eat breakfast.
It is standard practice to require patients to fast before drawing blood specimens for a cholesterol test. However, based on a study involving 200,000 people, findings led researchers to conclude that a non-fasting lipid test would be a reasonable alternative for most people. (more…)
It is not known whether any clinical laboratories or pathologists are plaintiffs in this unusual lawsuit of providers versus health insurer
When it comes to out-of-network policies, clinical laboratories clinical laboratory are not the only unhappy class of providers. In California, a coalition of healthcare organizations, physicians, and providers is suing the nation’s third-largest health insurer for its policies and practices relating to out-of-network providers.
It was in July when the Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA), California Medical Association (CMA), and various healthcare organizations and providers filed a lawsuit against Aetna Health of California, Inc. (Aetna CA). Aetna CA is a division of Aetna Health Management (NYSE:AET), based in Hartford, Conn. (more…)