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AACC Calls for Uniformity in Lab Test Results
Date:11/22/2013

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AACC has released a position statement on harmonization of—or ensuring uniformity among—clinical laboratory test results to help patients receive appropriate diagnoses and medical treatment. With this statement, the association aims to raise awareness about this essential healthcare issue and urge the medical community to work together to make harmonization a reality.

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The few laboratory tests that have been harmonized to date, such as those for cholesterol, glucose, and hemoglobin A1c, have made a marked positive impact on diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and diabetes. In addition to improved patient care, harmonizing these tests may also lead to reductions in healthcare spending. As a striking example, the initiative to harmonize cholesterol tests only cost $1.7 million per year, while the health benefits it has yielded now save more than $338 million annually.

With the release of the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology's new cholesterol guidelines, uniform cholesterol test numbers are more important than ever. These guidelines advise doctors to include additional variables—such as gender and blood pressure—into the AHA's risk calculator to assess a patient's risk of cardiovascular disease and need for cholesterol-lowering drugs. Without uniform cholesterol test numbers, physicians will not have accurate risk calculator results on which to base their treatment decisions.

To ensure that progress in harmonizing all types
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