CEO SUMMARY: Moving away from volume-based care will not be easy for clinical labs. After all, high volume sustains labs. But labs seeking to transition away from fee-for-service to value-based care must have a seat at the table where decisions are made, said a lab CEO who is part of Project Santa Fe, which wants
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: Is it a new sign of the times? After decades of reluctance to sell their lab outreach businesses or enter into inpatient lab management agreements with commercial lab companies, a surprising number of hospitals and health systems are taking that step. Since the first of the year, sales of several major hospital lab
ONE OF THE MORE CURIOUS SITUATIONS IN THE LAB INDUSTRY TODAY is the story of Aurora Diagnostics of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Even as it loses money, it continues to acquire pathology group practices.
Aurora recently issued its earnings report. For 2016, it disclosed a net loss of $29 million, with revenue of $284 million. This
CEO SUMMARY: It’s becoming a familiar story. In Houston, a pharmacogenomics lab company started strong in 2011, then payments dropped sharply when Medicare issued restrictive new guidelines for PGx testing. Next, the Medicare administrative contractor handling the claims of CompanionDx Reference Lab canceled the lab’s registry and stopped paying most Medicare claims. In the wake
BANKRUPTCY IS THE LATEST CHAPTER in the business story of uropathologist David G. Bostwick, MD. On March 15, Bostwick Laboratories Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
That same day, Poplar Healthcare, LLC, a specialty lab company in Memphis, agreed to buy the lab company in Glen
CEO SUMMARY: Being accredited to this internationally recognized standard for quality and competence communicates to clients and prospective clients that one of the nation’s largest clinical labs is committed to the highest standards of quality. Clients already knew about that commitment but now have definitive proof, ARUP said. Also, lab administrators believed that gaining accreditation
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,
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