CMS Seeks ‘New Direction’ for its Innovation Center as the Agency Evaluates Current Value-Based Payment Models for Medicare Services, including Medical Laboratory Testing

Federal agency receives input on eight focus areas as it looks for ways to enable providers ‘to design and offer new approaches to delivering care’ Medical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups preparing for the transition from fee-for-service healthcare will want to keep a close eye on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The federal agency’s administrator plans to set a “new direction” for CMS as it shifts to value-based reimbursement models for Medicare services that...

‘Death by 1,000 Knives’ Could Be in Store for Clinical Laboratories, Pathology Groups Not Prepared to Comply with New Medicare Part B Regulations

Medical laboratory leaders and pathologists must be fully aware of the coming legal and regulatory changes taking place starting January 1, 2018, or risk fines and decreased reimbursements January 1, 2018, marks the start of new Medicare Part B price cuts for clinical laboratory  and anatomic pathology testing. But decreasing reimbursement rates is just one issue facing medical laboratory leaders. The other is the increasingly rigorous regulatory environment poised to ensnare labs and...

Research Study at Johns Hopkins University Reveals CDC Does Not Record Medical Errors in Annual Mortality Report, Yet Such Errors Are Third Leading Cause of Death

An earlier Johns Hopkins study looked at diagnostic errors and determined that such errors were the leading cause of malpractice payouts. Can clinical laboratories help? At a time of heightened transparency in healthcare outcomes, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Johns Hopkins) study makes a startling conclusion: medical errors are an under-recognized cause of patients’ deaths in the United States. In fact, medical errors rank third—after heart disease and cancer—in causing...

New Medicare Program Bases Reimbursement for Hip and Knee Replacements on Value-Based Criteria, Now in 67 Regional Markets

Medicare’s latest payment rules for joint replacement surgeries is another step forward on the path toward bundled payments and similar value-based reimbursement models  By now, most clinical laboratory managers and pathologists know about an ambitious new Medicare program that essentially brings a value-based reimbursement model to joint replacement surgeries. The program has already commenced in a number of regional markets across the United States. This new program was instituted by the...

Attention Pathologists! MD Anderson and UnitedHealthcare Ink Bundled Payment Agreement for Cancer Care

If bundled payment becomes more common in treatment of cancer, then anatomic pathologists need a strategy to demonstrate their clinical value to physicians and payers MD Anderson Cancer Center and UnitedHealthcare (NYSE: UNH) announced a bundled payment agreement for the treatment of certain types of cancer. This development has implications for anatomic pathologist who provide cancer testing services to hospitals throughout the United States. The new three-year pilot at MD Anderson’s Head and...