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Sizeable deductibles cause patients to owe more money to clinical pathology labs, spurring labs to get smarter about collecting
In today's clinical laboratory marketplace, competency in revenue management is becoming just as important as clinical excellence. Blame it on these multi-year trends: shrinking lab budgets, Medicare price cuts, and payers excluding labs from narrow networks. At the dawn of this decade — just five years ago — few pathologists and clinical lab executives would have predicted that the financial survival of their lab organizations would depend upon becoming more proficient and more sophisticated with billing and collections.
Meaningful use stage 3 proposed rule — what it means for clinical laboratories
ADVANCE for Laboratory Administrators
On March 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the stage 3 meaningful use proposed rule for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. Stage 3 is expected to be the final stage of the EHR Incentive Program. Laboratory administrators should be aware that CMS's heightened focus on interoperable systems will affect its relationships with providers. Providers likely will demand that laboratories are able to accept electronic orders as well as transmit lab results electronically because providers now face payment reductions if they are not meaningful users.
NIH's drug lab is shut down after FDA finds quality failures
A U.S.-run laboratory that makes drugs for the National Institutes of Health's clinical trials failed a government quality inspection and will be temporarily shut down. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the government regulator that spends much of its time making sure drug companies follow exacting quality standards, inspected the NIH's Pharmaceutical Development Section. The lab makes drugs that are used in government-sponsored clinical trials at the NIH hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. Operations at the lab have been suspended.
Medscape ranks physician compensation for 2015: How do pathologists fare?
When it comes to physician income, pathologists rank just below the median out of 25 medical specialties, according to the "2015 Medscape Physician Compensation Report." The Medscape study for 2015 put pathologist compensation at $267,000. This represented a 12 percent increase over the average pathologist compensation of $239,000 that was reported in the "2014 Medscape Physician Compensation Report." According to Medscape's 2015 report, orthopedists are the highest earners, averaging $421,000 a year.
New ways doctors reach agreement on patient diagnoses
The Wall Street Journal
Pathologists are the most important doctors that patients never meet. Their expertise is essential to help diagnose disease, figure out how far it has spread, and determine the best treatment options.
They huddle over microscopes much as they have for the last 100 years, peering at slivers of human tissue, cells and bodily fluids on glass slides to unlock the medical mysteries in cells.
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Blood test for cancer biomarkers using an electrochemical clamp assay
Researchers have found an innovative way to detect cancer biomarkers in a person's blood. Nucleic acids, the components of DNA and RNA, are typically located within the cell. However, sometimes these nucleic acids can be found circulating in the blood. Cancer patients tend to have more of these cell-free nucleic acids in their blood. A small portion of these cell-free nucleic can contain mutations associated with certain cancers.
Study: Digital health solutions may save US health system $100 billion
By Scott E. Rupp
Accenture, in a new report, estimates that FDA-approved digital health solutions — an Internet-connected device or software created for detection or treatment of a medical indication — may have saved up to $6 billion in cost savings last year, primarily driven by medication adherence, behavior modifications and fewer emergency room visits. And digital health solutions are expected to save the U.S. healthcare system an additional $100 billion over the next four years.
Ethics vs economics: The cost of outsourcing clinical trials to developing countries
As the death toll from the African Ebola crisis peaked, World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan delivered a scathing attack on the "profit-driven" pharmaceutical industry and its unwillingness to develop a vaccine "for markets that cannot pay." Chan's criticism challenged the notion that medical research is guided by a beneficent hand — an honorable impulse for the betterment of humanity. In reality, research and development of drugs is driven by markets rather than moral concern.
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