CEO SUMMARY: Announced last month, the new laboratory joint-venture partnership with Sonic Healthcare’s Sunrise Clinical Laboratories will allow WCHN to compete with other health systems and prepare to respond to health insurers’ requests that hospital systems offer lower rates in value-based payment models. WCHN has already seen payers shift to low-cost providers. For this reason,
Laboratory ManagementSkip to articles
Laboratory management in today’s clinical lab industry is changing rapidly and facing entirely new challenges. One problem is the lack of upcoming younger lab managers, as the retirements of baby boomer pathologists, medical technologists and lab scientists are in the near future. These individuals make up the largest proportion of supervisors, managers, and lab administrators working in labs today.
As they retire, every clinical lab and pathology group needs to have the next generation of leaders ready to step up and assume responsibilities. But, across the lab industry, there are limited opportunities for every lab’s brightest up-and-comers to get the regular management development opportunities that are common among Fortune 500 companies. The Dark Intelligence Group has called for the establishment of a mentoring program to help overcome this problem.
At the same time, downward pressure on reimbursements and mounting competition have created an environment that requires much more effort for a medical lab to grow and thrive.
Legislation, including the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) of 2009 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010, have placed significant demands on medical laboratories and healthcare providers to improve internal efficiency even while offering more services for less money. This pressure to “do more with less” is further compounded by the need to deliver increasingly personalized client service to retain and win clients.
With the era of fee-for-service medicine coming to a close, every clinical laboratory and anatomic pathology organization needs a strategy for getting paid, as new reimbursement models that support patient-centric care will make up a larger portion of lab revenues.
The challenge for every clinical laboratory manager is to understand how to evolve from a business model that is accession-centric or volume-centric to one that is patient-centric.
Many clinical laboratories today are developing data repositories to logically link all transactional and other information about a patient. These repositories allow physicians to see all relevant information, identify trends, and provide better care as a result, enabling labs to provide greater value to their customers, patients and payers, thus creating more value and becoming more patient-centric.
CEO SUMMARY: To prepare for the transition from fee-for-service to value-based payment, Western Connecticut Health Network, a three-hospital health system, announced a laboratory joint venture with Sonic Healthcare. Benefits will include lower test costs, more competitive prices, and the ability to offer same-day turn-around in Western Connecticut. Another benefit is that physicians in towns WCHN
CEO SUMMARY: Is the New Year’s spate of deals involving the sales of hospital lab outreach programs and a new joint venture the first tremors of an impending earthquake of similar transactions? In the first 10 weeks of 2017, Laboratory Corporation of America, Quest Diagnostics, and Sonic Healthcare announced significant agreements to purchase sizeable hospital
CEO SUMMARY: It will take several years to understand how the market for lab testing services will change in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, once Laboratory Corporation of America becomes the owner of PAML, based in Spokane, Wash. Price and financial terms of the sale were not disclosed. The announcement of the agreement also reported
CEO SUMMARY: At the University of Michigan Medical Center, the Department of Pathology is learning new ways to add value that include face-to-face meetings with patients as part of UMMC’s patient- and family-centered care initiative. One lesson learned is that patients appreciate the opportunity to get a better understanding of the results from both anatomic
ANOTHER ACADEMIC MEDICAL CENTER decided to cash in on the value of its outreach lab. On Jan. 10, Laboratory Corporation of America announced it would acquire the lab outreach business of Mount Sinai Health System of New York City.
Terms of the transaction and purchase price were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close by
TWO ACQUISITIONS FURTHER consolidated the clinical laboratory testing industry in recent weeks. The acquired companies were Sequenom and Cepheid.
Sequenom went first. On July 27, Laboratory Corporation of America announced an agreement to acquire Sequenom for a purchase price of about $371 million.
It was Cepheid’s turn next. Just 11 days later, on Sept. 6, Danaher Corporation disclosed an
TO MAKE THE TRANSITION FROM VOLUME TO VALUE, pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists are beginning to leave the four walls of their labs to engage clinicians in ways that add value to the lab tests performed on their patients.
That’s exactly what one medical technologist is doing in a community hospital in the Midwest. Daily, she
CEO SUMMARY: It’s now official. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the first children’s hospital to earn accreditation to ISO 15189 under the College of American Pathologists. What is more interesting, however, is how lab leadership used the quality management system of ISO 15189 to help lab staff to raise the quality of lab services.
ACROSS THE NATION, the hundreds of pathology groups and clinical labs that use McKesson Technology Solutions for their billing and collections, along with labs that use the Advanced Diagnostics Solutions group, should pay attention to a major corporate deal announced June 28.
On June 28, McKesson Corporation of New York and Change Healthcare (formerly Emdeon) of