Insight Newsletter July 1, 2009

Stay Up-to-Date on Industry Trends with ExamOne Webinars

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Join one (or all) of our upcoming educational webinars to learn how other companies are utilizing innovative products to stay ahead of the curve.

Scheduling Innovation That Will Reduce Your Policy Delivery Cycle

  • Thursday, July 16, 2009
  • 1:-00 - 2:00 p.m. Central Time

Let us show you how speed and convenience are within your grasp. Learn how ExamOne has harnessed the power of real-time exam scheduling in combination with providing in-center exam options.

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Understanding How Drugs of Abuse Testing Trends Are Changing

  • Wednesday, July 22, 2009
  • 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central Time

Cocaine use among U.S. employees and job applicants in the general U.S. workforce declined sharply in 2008, according to the annual Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI), based on 5.7 million urine drug tests performed last year by Quest Diagnostics, the nation's leading provider of drug testing services. Did the insurance industry experience the same trend? Join us to learn more.

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Improve Your Brokerage/Carrier Connections

  • Wednesday, August 12, 2009
  • 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Central Time

Our imaging products geared toward connecting brokerage agency to carriers provide an innovative solution for storing, viewing and transmitting documents to carriers. Join us to learn about ExamOne imaging solutions.

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Let's Talk Cardiac Disease Markers

  • Wednesday, August 19, 2009
  • 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central Time

The presentation will include ProBNP, hs CRP, and Cystatin C. We will also cover a protective value study focused on ProBNP as compared to stress testing.

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Quest Diagnostics Introduces First Commercial Laboratory Test for Identifying the H1N1 Swine Flu Virus

Real-time PCR test validated using clinical specimens confirmed positive for Influenza A H1N1 Swine-origin flu virus

MADISON, N.J. , May 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, today announced that its Focus Diagnostics infectious disease reference laboratory has introduced a laboratory-developed real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to aid in identifying Influenza A H1N1 Swine-origin (H1N1) flu virus ("S-OIV" or "novel H1N1"), also known as the Swine Flu. The Focus Diagnostics Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu) RNA Real-Time RT-PCR Test is the first laboratory testing service to be introduced by a commercial laboratory to aid in the identification of patients infected with the novel H1N1 virus and differentiate patients infected with other seasonal Influenza A strains. Focus Diagnostics has a track record of being first to market with new laboratory testing services for emerging infectious diseases, such as West Nile Virus, SARS, and chikungunya virus.

"Our new laboratory test will be an important tool to help health care professionals and public health authorities identify infected patients more quickly, promoting earlier diagnosis and treatment," said Jon R. Cohen , M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, Quest Diagnostics . "This capability could be particularly important if the novel H1N1 virus continues to spread in the U.S. or re-emerges this fall or winter. Public health officials in the U.S. have done an exceptional job of managing the current Influenza emergency, and we continue to work closely with them to assist their preparedness efforts."

Focus Diagnostics validated its new Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu) RNA Real-Time RT-PCR Test using clinical specimens submitted to its reference laboratory confirmed as positive for the novel H1N1 influenza virus by public health authorities. Real-time PCR is a highly sensitive testing technique that can detect the presence of a virus' RNA from a patient's nasal or nasopharyngeal specimen. The S-OIV virus responsible for a recent outbreak affecting dozens of countries is a subtype of Influenza virus Type A. The new Focus Diagnostics test simultaneously detects the presence of Influenza A virus RNA and specifically identifies the presence of the novel H1N1 virus.

Focus Diagnostics will perform the Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu) RNA Real-Time RT-PCR laboratory test, in alignment with current public health guidelines, at its reference laboratory in Cypress, California . Physicians, hospitals and other health care practitioners may order the laboratory test directly from Focus Diagnostics or through the Quest Diagnostics national laboratory network. Expected turnaround time for reporting results is within 24 hours of receipt of specimen by the Focus Diagnostics laboratory.

In addition to the new Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu) RNA Real-Time RT-PCR Test, Quest Diagnostics' regional laboratories, including the Focus Diagnostics reference laboratory, perform a broad range of testing services to detect Influenza viruses, including PCR, rapid cell culture, direct immunofluorescence (DFA) and enzyme immunoassay (EIA) techniques. Depending on the laboratory, the company can perform testing on different types of collected specimens, such as nasopharyngeal swabs, nasal secretions, nasal wash (lavage) and aspirations.

Public health guidelines are governed at the federal, state and county level, and vary across the U.S. While state and county public health guidelines initially required private clinical laboratories to provide positive Influenza virus type A positive specimens to public health authorities for confirmatory testing and diagnosis of novel H1N1 virus infection, some state and county public health authorities now only require confirmatory testing for specimens from certain high risk patients or under certain circumstances.

With the availability of the Focus Diagnostics Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu) RNA Real-Time RT-PCR Test, physicians will be able to submit patient specimens that are found to be positive for Influenza virus type A through testing performed by a Quest Diagnostics' regional laboratory or other private clinical laboratory to Focus Diagnostics' reference laboratory for novel H1N1 laboratory testing. A physician that believes a patient is at high risk of novel H1N1 infection may order the new Focus Diagnostics test to aid the diagnosis of Influenza virus type A infection, including the novel H1N1 virus. Focus Diagnostics would also submit those test specimens found to be positive as well as the test results to the appropriate public health authorities, as required by local public health guidelines.

"The availability of the new Focus Diagnostics laboratory test will enable physicians and hospitals to quickly identify patients infected with S-OIV and differentiate them from patients infected with other Influenza A strains," said Jay M. Lieberman , M.D., medical director, Focus Diagnostics. "We will continue to aid our public health colleagues in responding to the H1N1 outbreak, and encourage clinicians to follow testing guidelines provided by public health authorities."

Focus Diagnostics has collaborated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and other public health agencies to help identify and develop diagnostic tests for emerging infectious diseases. Focus Diagnostics was instrumental in developing the first laboratory developed test for West Nile Virus after it was identified in New York in 1999. Focus Diagnostics also introduced the first laboratory developed test for SARS and the first FDA-cleared serological test kit for Lyme disease.

For more information about Quest Diagnostics and Influenza testing options, please visit www.QuestDiagnostics.com/SwineFlu.

Is it time to start screening for Marijuana?

Internal data shows that 2/3 of marijuana positive insurance applicants are cotinine negative indicating that most of these individuals will get non tobacco rates.

Marijuana smoke contains many of the same components as tobacco smoke, including the carcinogen, benzopyrene. Studies have indicated that 3 times the amount of tar is retained in the lung of marijuana users vis-a-vis cigarette smokers, probably due to breath holding.

A study in New Zealand (case control of those developing lung cancer < age 56, n=403) showed that the risk of lung cancer increased 8% for each joint/year of marijuana use (a joint year is use of one joint per day for one year). This was compared to an increase in risk of 7% for each pack/year of tobacco use.

Thirteen states have enacted laws that legalized medical marijuana:
Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington

Two states, Arizona and Maryland , have passed laws that, although favorable towards medical marijuana, did not legalize its use.

Thirteen more states have bills to legalize medical marijuana pending.

Shortly after he was confirmed, current Attorney General, Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that he would halt Drug Enforcement Administration raids on medical marijuana dispensaries.

Michigan legalized medical marijuana in January 2009. The Saginaw News reported on Thursday, June 04, 2009, that:

"About eight out of 10 Michigan residents who have applied to Michigan's Medical Marijuana Program have been granted cards that allow them to use marijuana legally for medicinal purposes, and in the two months since applications became available to residents, the state Department of Community Health has received 2,377 applications and approved 1,903 of them as of Thursday."

To learn more about changing drug trends, join our webinar:

Understanding How Drugs of Abuse Testing Trends Are Changing

  • Wednesday, July 22, 2009
  • 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central Time

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Examone.com = Did you know?

Did you know that when a requestor has multiple applicants; such as a husband and wife or business partners with business pending for the same insurance company, rather than rekeying the case on the spouse or business associate, the requestor can use the duplicate option from the order confirmation page. This can be done by selecting the "Start a new order using data copied from this order".

ExamOne screenshot

When this is done an exact duplicate order is created from the previously entered order. The requestor need only update the necessary applicant data and complete the order placement process.

New Video and Web site Highlight the Importance of Vitamin D Testing

June 9, 2009 (Vol. 12, No. 75) - Vitamin D deficiency and testing for Vitamin D have recently received a lot of press attention. To help educate doctors and patients about Vitamin D testing, Quest Diagnostics has created a video that you can view by going to the home page on our Web site: www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

In our video, "Vitamin D Testing -- Why it Matters, How it’s Done," experts from Quest Diagnostics and Harbor UCLA Medical Center provide an overview on Vitamin D and how two common testing technologies measure levels of the vitamin in the body. The video features two scientists from Nichols Institute in San Juan Capistrano, Richard Reitz, M.D., and Wael Salameh, M.D., as well as Ronald Swerdloff, M.D., a leading endocrinologist and professor at UCLA.

"Everyone has read or seen news coverage about the role of Vitamin D in health," said Dr. Reitz. "Yet, few ordinary patients are likely to know that laboratories use different testing platforms to measure the vitamin in blood specimens."

Dr. Salameh added that, "Our goal for this video is to educate patients so they may be well informed when they have discussions with their physicians about testing options for Vitamin D and the role of the vitamin in their health."

Please watch the video (for those with Internet access) and we encourage your friends and family to visit www.vitamindtestfacts.com to learn more about the importance of Vitamin D.

For more information on how ExamOne's integrated solutions may help your workflow, please visit www.ExamOne.com or call 800.873.8845 ext. 1470.

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