Reference laboratories, which have suffered for most of the past decade from ever-declining reimbursement rates, had a welcome piece of good news this year--as of Jan. 1, Medicare reimbursement for many anatomic pathology processes is slated to increase. The increases vary by procedure, but some of the biggest categories--biopsies, for example--will rise by as much as 33% over the next three years. Reimbursement for Pap smears is doubling, although Medicare is responsible for only a small portion of pap smears. The reimbursement hike caused Dianon to restate its revenue projections for this fiscal year from a 30% increase to a 40% increase.
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Limiting interactions to two-dimensional settings will hinder collaboration, innovation and the mentoring of younger employees, Merck & Co. CEO Kenneth Frazier says. Frazier, who will retire in June, is looking forward to returning to public service but says "politics with a capital P is not my thing."