American Clinical Laboratory Association’s Annual Meeting Takes Place in Washington, DC, as Congress Considers First Obamacare Repeal-and-Replace Bill

CMS Director speaks at ACLA meeting; acknowledges that labs are alerting the agency to problems with Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) private payer market reporting, but did not say whether a delay in implementing either reporting or lab test fee cuts would be possible

WASHINGTON, DC—Last week, it was symbolic that, as members of the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) assembled for their annual meeting, members of the House of Representatives were preparing to vote on the first of several bills intended to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act.

The symbolism comes from the fact that the nation’s medical laboratories and the United States Congress find themselves at major crossroad. For medical laboratories, the issue is the substantial cuts to Medicare Part B clinical laboratory test fees that are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2018. Predicted by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to be a total cut of $400 million in 2018 alone, many expect these Medicare fee cuts to be the single most financially-disruptive event to hit the medical laboratory profession in 25 years.

There’s a similar make-or-break issue unfolding in Congress. Republicans in the House and Senate are caught up in battles to design and pass a series of bills intended to “repeal and replace” the ACA. At their respective crossroads, it remains unclear which path forward each group will follow. (more…)

Quest Diagnostics Picks Rusckowski as New President and CEO to Lead the Nation’s Largest Clinical Pathology Company

Many challenges ahead for Rusckowski because of healthcare’s unfolding transformation

Yesterday, after the stock markets closed, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX) issued a press release naming Stephen H. Rusckowski as its new President and CEO. He will assume his duties on May 1, 2012. Quest Diagnostics is the nation’s largest clinical laboratory company.

Along with the appointment of its new President and CEO, Quest Diagnostics also announced that Daniel C. Stanzione, Ph.D., would become the Non-Executive Chairman of the Board for the Madison, New Jersey-based company. Stanzione has served as a Director on the Quest Board since 2004.

To ensure an orderly transition, Surya N. Mohapatra, Ph.D., the current Chairman, President, and CEO, will continue his duties through April 30, 2012. It was on October 25, 2011, when Quest Diagnostics disclosed a succession plan and stated that Mohapatra, now 61 years old, would serve for an additional six months as the company conducted its search for another CEO.