January 2013 Clinical Laboratory News: Volume 39, Number 1

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COVER STORIES

A New Paradigm for Companion Diagnostics in Cancer
Will New Clinical Trial Methods Speed Drug, Biomarker Use?
By Genna Rollins

Rapid advances in both molecular diagnostics and the understanding of cancer biology are spurring interest in new clinical trial designs and testing protocols aimed at better matching patients to studies and therapies.

Molecular Diagnostics Reimbursement in Flux
What Will New Codes Mean for Labs?
By Bill Malone

A new rule that redraws the map of how molecular diagnostics are reimbursed by Medicare is creating great uncertainty for labs in 2013. As a new set of billing codes for molecular tests comes into effect this month, CMS has asked its local administrative contractors to come up with their own payment schemes from scratch, rather than carry over prices from the old codes.

SERIES ARTICLE

Saliva
An Often Forgotten, but Convenient Diagnostic Fluid
By Chamindie Punyadeera, PhD

As a diagnostic fluid, saliva offers several advantages over blood and shows enormous potential for detecting systemic illnesses such as heart failure and cancer. But before salivary diagnostics can become widespread, the laboratory community needs to more fully understand the variables influencing levels of biomolecules in saliva.

NEWS BRIEF

U.S. Hospitals Underperform on Patient Safety Measures

INSIDE

A Look Into the Crystal Ball—Budget Cuts, Healthcare Reform
What Laboratory Professionals Can Expect in 2013
By Vince Stine, PhD

Looming federal budget cuts and implementing healthcare reform could impact laboratory operations in the short and long term as Congress and the President struggle to come up with solutions to the nation's problems.

PATIENT SAFETY FOCUS

Preventing Infections Related to Using Point-of-Care Testing Devices
An Interview with Sharon M. Geaghan, MD
By Michael Astion, MD, PhD

In this Q&A, Sharon M. Geaghan, MD, professor of pathology and pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, offers tips on how to safeguard against the spread of nosocomial infections through contaminated point-of-care testing devices.

No News Is Not Always Good News
How IT Solutions Can Help Avert the Failures
By Jaime Noguez, PhD

Overlooked test results are a frequent source of medical errors in outpatient settings. Laboratorians can step in and use their experience with information technology systems to help clinicians reduce these post-analytical errors.

A Family Physician's Perspective on Laboratory Testing and Diagnostic Errors
An Interview with Peter Weir, MD, MPH
By Brian Jackson, MD, MS

At ARUP Laboratories' workplace clinic, medical director Peter Weir, MD, MPH, and six other healthcare practitioners attend to the needs of roughly 4,500 patients. In this interview, Dr. Weir discusses some common problems his group encounters with laboratory tests and results.

PROFILES

Regulatory Profiles
Industry Profiles
Diagnostic Profiles
News from the FDA

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Next Month


Interpreting Troponin Elevations

The Future of Outreach Testing