Diabetes. The flu. Stroke. These diseases and ailments are in our common lexicon—there’s a certain degree of public awareness on causes and treatment. But how many really understand why it is so important to test for vitamin D deficiencies? (more…)
Lab professionals, from assistants to medical lab technicians, work behind the scenes to assist physicians with patient diagnosis and treatment, and disease monitoring or prevention. The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science calls these professionals vital healthcare detectives—the Sherlocks of the healthcare world who help detect cancer, different types of infectious diseases, heart attacks, and much more. (more…)
Flu season is almost upon us. By now, you and your customers may have an idea of what’s to come, based on how the flu season has already played out in other parts of the world. Last year, however, despite forewarning that a vicious flu season was likely headed our way, the United States and European countries were caught off guard with a “Perfect Storm” of challenges for the influenza season. Flu test and antiviral medication shortages combined with limited effectiveness of the vaccine and a the aggressive H3N2 strain made for challenging times for both physicians and patients. Now, physician offices are getting ready to stock flu tests and other supplies in preparation for this year’s flu season. What do they need to know before they choose a flu test? (more…)
Direct LDL Testing- Why should clinicians routinely request measured clinical laboratory values of LDL cholesterol?
This year on World Heart Day (September 29th), the World Heart Federation is asking for a simple promise: Eat more healthily, get more active, and say no to smoking. But as you know, it’s vitally important to recognize every day, not just on World Heart Day, that cardiovascular disease (CVD) isn’t simple, and is the world’s number one killer: over 17 million people die of cardiovascular disease every year. What many people don’t realize as they go about their day-to-day lives is that this disease is in fact 80% preventable. That’s right—80%! (more…)
A record-breaking season! The perfect storm! No, we’re not talking about the movie that garners a mediocre 47% Rotten Tomatoes rating. If you recall, last month we discussed the perfect storm of a flu season that the U.S. experienced in 2017-2018. A particularly vicious strain, combined with other factors such as a flu test shortage and a less effective vaccine, which resulted in 30,429 laboratory-confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations in the U.S. Other parts of the world saw staggering numbers as well: North Korea reported more than 80,000 confirmed cases of the influenza strain H1N1 between December 1, 2017 and January 16, 2018; Japan saw almost three million cases by January 2018; and Britain experienced a severe season with a sharp increase in hospitalizations. (more…)
Hopefully you have the basics of MACRA mastered by now. As a refresher, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act changes how Medicare pays for physician services and repeals the Medicare physician sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and instead provides predictable payment increases. If you need an additional review of the program, read last month’s blog. (more…)