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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Interpreting Troponin Elevations The Future of Outreach Testing