Consensus conference on AFIP scheduled

A consensus conference will be held on Aug. 30-31 to assess the value of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) Tissue Repository (Arlington, Virginia).

Dating back to 1862, AFIP has accessioned over three million medical cases and maintains over 50 million glass slides, 30 million paraffin-embedded blocks and 12 million preserved wet tissue specimens, providing the world’s largest and most comprehensive tissue repository.

In May, the Department of Defense issued its report on Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) recommendations. The report recommends the “disestablish[ment of] all elements of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology except the National Medical Museum and the Tissue Repository.” However, no specifications were made for the future maintenance and ad-ministration of the tissue repository.

Due to the spectrum of ethical, legal and technological issues surrounding the utilization of human tissues, the American Registry of Pathology has engaged Auburn Health Strategies to host a consensus conference to garner a diversity of expert opinion on the importance of and recommendations for the future status of the AFIP Tissue Repository. The conference is open to the public.

The conference will be at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington. For registration (complimentary, but required), go to www.auburnstrat.com

Study suggests ‘disconnect’ on healthcare

According to industry data, while the U.S. spends more money per capita on medical care than any other industrialized nation in the world, quality of care is declining while healthcare costs are rising.

New survey results found that 85% of hospital healthcare executives believe consumers would benefit in terms of alleviating rising healthcare costs if hospitals better addressed their controllable expenses. These executives identified labor and workforce issues as their controllable costs.

The “Curing a Sick System” study, conducted by IDC (Framingham, Massachusetts) and sponsored by Kronos (Chelmsford, Massachusetts), surveyed 1,100 U.S. consumers and 200 U.S. hospital and healthcare financial executives to gauge their attitudes and perceptions on the healthcare system.

“The study revealed a large perception disconnect between consumers and healthcare financial executives concerning the ability of the healthcare industry to control costs,” said Scott Tiazkun, research manager at IDC. “This was particularly striking when it came to the largest component: labor costs.”

Currently, more than 15% of the $1.7 trillion in healthcare spending goes to paying the salaries and benefits of hospital workers.

AMEX accepts Calypte ‘plan of compliance’

Calypte Biomedical (Lake Oswego, Oregon) reported that the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) has notified it that it has accepted its plan of compliance and granted it an extension to regain compliance for continued listing. On June 22, Calypte received notice from AMEX indicating that it is not in compliance with certain listing standards: specifically shareholders’ equity and continuing losses.

The company presented its plan on July 21 and has received an 18-month extension to regain compliance, subject to periodic reviews.

Calypte is a maker of diagnostic products for the detection of sexually transmitted diseases.

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