The Continued Rise in Cost of Healthcare

A recent blog in Definitive Healthcare explored “5 Reasons Why Healthcare Costs are Rising”.  It focused on the projections of national health expenditures rising at an annual rate of 5.5 percent and consuming 19.4 percent of gross domestic product by 2027.  The two top stimuli for increasing...

Declining Reimbursement in the Clinical Laboratory

At the end of each year, the Dark Report presents the top 10 laboratory stories and major laboratory trends of the prior year.  This year, not unexpectedly, the top story was the financial impact on clinical laboratories of the second year of PAMA-related cuts in Medicare’s Clinical Laboratory...

The A to Z of Testing for Folate Deficiency

Folic Acid is an important nutrient in our diets.  During the 1990s when the relationship between folic acid deficiency and neural tube defects was demonstrated, the FDA required the addition of folic acid supplements to certain foods.   Today we monitor pregnant patients for folate deficiency...

The Next Big Thing in Diagnosis of Ebola

A review discussing advances in diagnosis and management of Ebola Virus Disease was published in Clinical Microbiology Newsletter in November and I thought it worthwhile to share information on the diagnostic improvements.

Ebola Virus, an RNA virus, is comprised of a group with six species. Four...

FDA Warning: Potential False Negative Cardiac Tests

In late November 2017, the FDA issued a warning that patients with elevated levels of biotin (vitamin B7) can experience incorrect laboratory results using certain immunoassays that rely on biotin technology. 

Biotin is an over the counter vitamin supplement used for its purported effects in...

5 Steps CDC Recommends for Hand-washing

Recently the CDC launched Life is Better with Clean Hands campaign.  The goal of the campaign is to provide motivation for us all to make hand-washing part of everyday life to protect ourselves and set an example for our children.  We in the laboratory are keenly aware of the need for hand...

Scarlet Fever: The Comeback Kid

I had not given scarlet fever much thought since I was a young child and parents would occasionally express concern that a childhood rash might be a manifestation of scarlet fever.  Then, for many years it was rarely, if ever discussed.  However, in some parts of the world, scarlet fever...

How Laboratories can Improve Patient-Centered Care

Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month is recognized every year in October. It is an international campaign to bring awareness to the importance of centering the patient in health care, and to encourage health care organizations and providers to continue working towards making patient-centered...

Lab Testing Online: Witness The Growth in Patient Centered Medical Care

Over the past twenty-five years, we have seen increasing consumer involvement in the health care decisions affecting themselves and their loved ones. Witness the growth of Patient-Centered Medical Care and Medical Homes as having accelerated collaboration between patients and providers. In...

Serologic Diagnosis Advances for Rapidly Diagnosing Lyme Disease

For the past 25 years, the recommendation for Lyme Disease testing has been a two-test methodology, enzyme immunoassay (EIA) or immunofluorescence test followed by a western immunoblot assay performed on those specimens yielding a positive or equivocal Lyme Disease EIA result.