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Medical News & Perspectives
October 14, 1998

Changing Clinical Laboratories: Better or Worse?

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JAMA. 1998;280(14):1213-1214. doi:10.1001/jama.280.14.1213-JMN1014-2-1

CLINICAL LABORATORIES are at some risk of becoming an endangered species. The influence of managed care and other health care system changes has made such a substantial impact on clinical laboratories "that they may compromise the traditionally high level of clinical microbiology testing," said Alice Weissfeld, PhD, chair of the American Society for Microbiology's (ASM) Professional Affairs Committee, at a press conference in Washington, DC, last month.

The meeting was held to discuss, before its release at this year's Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, the results of a study the ASM commissioned on the impact of managed care on clinical laboratories. The report, entitled The Impact of Managed Care and Health System Change on Clinical Microbiology, was prepared by the Lewin Group, a health care policy research firm in Fairfax, Va.