Pathology Today
Jun. 25, 2014

AACC highlights significant concerns with CLFS reimbursement plan
The American Association for Clinical Chemistry is voicing significant concerns about the impact the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 may have on the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule. Readers will recall the House and Senate passed PAMA in late March, and among other things, it contained a Sustainable Growth Rate patch, a one year delay in the implementation of ICD-10, and a complete overhaul of how tests on the CLFS will be reimbursed beginning in 2017.More

How to resubmit denied claims for multiple units of 88342 to UnitedHealthcare
Following CAP advocacy to convince UnitedHealthcare to revise its payment policy for American Medical Association Current Procedural Terminology (AMA CPT) code 88342, the insurer finalized how it will reprocess denial of units of the immunohistochemistry service that exceeded one earlier this year. This process will affect all claims for 88342 that exceeded one unit with a date of services on or after Jan. 1, 2014 and processed by UnitedHealthcare on or before May 18, 2014.More

The 1st healthy baby to have his genome sequenced before birth, but is it ethical?
Medical Daily
Imagine growing up and knowing exactly what diseases you were genetically predisposed to. If it was Alzheimer's, would you take all possible measures to maintain your mental health? What if you were never actually predisposed to the disease and your parents had just interpreted your genome sequence wrong? These are questions many scientists are asking when it comes to sequencing the DNA of soon-to-be-born kids. And in part, they're asking them because of people like Razib Khan, the father of the first healthy baby to be born with his entire genome sequenced before birth. More

AMA: Doctors must be licensed in patient's state to practice telemedicine
The Washington Post
The American Medical Association recently offered policy recommendations that, if implemented, would place restrictions on telemedicine, or virtual medical care. The recommendations came as the Chicago-based organization of physicians and medical students formally announced its support for the practice, claiming telemedicine could "greatly improve access and quality of care while maintaining patient safety."More

Genomic technology enters the mainstream practice of medicine
Science Codex
Clinical genome and exome sequencing was once deemed exotic, but is increasingly being used by clinical geneticists and other specialists to diagnose rare, clinically unrecognizable or puzzling disorders that are suspected to be genetic in origin. Several thousand CGES tests across the country have already been ordered for patients and thousands more are expected in coming years. CGES is quickly moving from research laboratories into clinical medical practice, across all specialties.More

Overlooked DNA shuffling drives deadly paediatric brain tumour
Science Daily
One of the deadliest forms of paediatric brain tumor, Group 3 medulloblastoma, is linked to a variety of large-scale DNA rearrangements which all have the same overall effect on specific genes located on different chromosomes. The finding, by scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, the German Cancer Research Centre and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, is published online in Nature. More

New biomarkers could mean earlier, more accurate mesothelioma diagnosis
Surviving Mesothelioma
In what could be a breakthrough in the development of a reliable diagnostic test for mesothelioma, Danish scientists have identified what they say are four key biomarkers that distinguish the asbestos cancer from non-malignant conditions. If the new research from Copenhagen University can be validated, it may dramatically shorten the time it takes to identify mesothelioma and start aggressive therapies.More

Undermining the doctor-patient relationship
Pacific Standard
Although the meaningful use requirements are sensible and appropriate for many physician-patient encounters, this is certainly not always true, in which case the time spent on them is essentially wasted. This is a big problem. We know that better communication between physicians and patients leads to higher rates of medical adherence, fewer resources wasted on unnecessary testing and procedures, increased use of preventive medicine, reduced bounce-back admissions to the hospital after discharge and increased patient and physician satisfaction.More

Physicians, pathologists collaborate to reduce unnecessary clinical lab test orders; save $1 million annually
Dark Daily
Accumulating market evidence indicates that unnecessary utilization of medical laboratory tests — a problem bemoaned by pathologists for decades — may finally be addressed by an unlikely source: ordering physicians. Such a trend would have both positive and negative consequences for clinical laboratories throughout the United States.More