[Histonet] Lab Consultants

Lab Girl transparentlabconsulting <@t> gmail.com
Thu Sep 13 13:01:26 CDT 2012

Hello Histonetters

Please be very careful who or what consultancies you choose to hire for
your lab build. I know most of you are lab saavy enough to recognize that.

There are AP lab consultancies in the lab "space" which in my opinion are
very dishonest and potentially hazardous to the long-term well-being of
your lab, practice, and medical license or lab technologist career.

When you hire a lab consultant, a few things are critical so that you avoid
major problems:

1) Obtain legally-binding documentation that the consultants are *not
making $* from any capital equipment companies (Lab equipment companies),
reagent distributors, or any other suppliers or service providers that the
consultants recommend or use to build or design your lab space and its
workflow, facilities, and services. Make certain to include in your
agreements language which makes the consultancy and its owners and managers
liable for monetary damages if it is discovered that it breaks its
agreement to avoid engaging in such activities. There are lab consultancies
that make verbal and written, even contractual, "promises" that they do not
make money from kickbacks or outside arrangments, but believe me....some of
these Companies and their principals...*DO.*

2) Obtain legal verification that the company you are hiring or its
consultants or principals are not making money anyway by simply having an
association with another business or individual (such as owning another
mirror consultancy or their own consultancy")who filters such kickbacks
through another entity (themselves)and then pays the
consultants(themselves) on the back end anyway.

Example: Lab Consultancy#1 recommends, obtains purchase approval for, and
then builds and equips a lab for a Physician group with ACME lab company
equipment, reagents, and other systems. The approvals for the equipment are
then passed through or somehow associated with another company, entity, or
person #2 that/who is then credited for the sale of the equipment by the
ACME lab company and paid a commission or a kickback of some sort. On
paper, it appears that the Consultants building the lab are not making any
$, but they actually DO, just through a private exchange or a different
company name.

3) Obtain protective contractual language from your capital equipment
manufacturer and any other lab suppliers or service providers involved in
your lab setup and operation. First and foremost, make as a part of any
business agreement or purchase of materials or equipment, an instrument of
legal language whereby the manufacturer or lab company also legally
warrants that* no* outside consultancy, entity, business, or commercial
organization will receive monetary or other monetarily valuable incentives
or remunerations for setting up a physicians' in doctors' office anatomic
pathology laboratory with their equipment or services.

*4) I saw this happen. Dont let it happen to you or your lab.*

5) Watch out...if you discover that someone or some company is dishonest
and/or incompetent, there is a reasonablly good chance that when you "send
them packing" they will call in a CLIA Complaint of some sort and make your
life and lab a mess.

6) The US government leadership (i.e. CMS/ HHS) in my opinion does not
protect people when shady business dealings eventuate in one or more
dishonest parties using the CLIA Complaint Process to "try to profit or
"get back at" a a person or a company. We all know that complaint surveys
are often called in or submitted in order  to create Qui Tam cases for
profit and/or to generally get back at employers or business partnerships
that go awry. HHS officials working in CMS have verbally confirmed that
they understand this goes on. They are obviously obligated to investigate,
however if you feel someone has targeted you and that the complaint is due
to their attempt at financial gain based on illegal activity, call the HHS
Inspector General. Very soon the IG will be receiving detailed information
about these scenarios and will be investigating them.

7) It is important to remember that some of the big lab companies engage in
relationships in which they profit from paying a middle man consultant of
one kind or another for getting them leads and a foot in the door. THis is
also how you end up with the wrong equipment or workflow problems in your
lab...or wondering why your entire lab is at the mercy of one company and
its proprietary pricing and its competency or lack thereof at servicing
your equipment.

8) Someone once said  that "laboratory technologists do not know how to set
up AP labs, purchase or select equipment, or successfully take a new lab
through a CLIA inspection."

Is that what you all believe? I dont.

A lab consultancy ruined my long career as a lab tech. Watch out for who
you choose. Choose a good one. Keep them honest. If you don't, you may
learn the hard way that the best "lab consultants" are the caring and
dedicated technologists and pathologists that end up having to run the
operation....that breathe xylene and formalin all day long for years...that
cut themeselves on microtome blades...that arrive in the mornings to
beeping processors and error codes that make the days' work even harder.
You are the dedicated acolytes of the profession Listen to the physicians.
They are the reason you are there. Their patients are your duty as well as
theirs. Trust the priestly guidance and management of the physicians, not
the money-making business consultants and big equipment companies.

Best of luck to all.

Lab Girl

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