CEO SUMMARY: As health networks and hospitals consider outsourcing their lab outreach programs, the lab team at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (D-H) offers lessons about the value of retaining outreach. D-H is now in the eighth year of a sustained expansion of its laboratory outreach business. It has combined its lab outreach strategy with a proven
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.
LATE LAST MONTH, Myriad Genetics Inc. announced a definitive agreement to acquire Counsyl, Inc., an innovative genetic testing company in South San Francisco, Calif., for $375 million. In a deal that is expected to close by early next year, Myriad will use a combination of cash and common stock.
Founded in 2007, Counsyl offers carrier and
CEO SUMMARY: Despite the challenges hospital and health system laboratory outreach programs face today, there are many ways they can remain viable, according to an outreach expert from Mayo Medical Laboratories. By taking specific steps to increase volume and the value they provide, lab outreach programs can keep their costs down while bringing in more
CEO SUMMARY: While Theranos was a darling of the business and national media, Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou was hearing troubling reports about patients who got incongruent lab results that put them at risk for inappropriate medical treatments. His investigation of Theranos and its celebrated founder, Elizabeth Holmes, revealed that the company’s much-touted lab
IT’S THE END OF AN ERA for the strategy of being the exclusive national lab provider for a major health insurer. Last week, the two largest clinical laboratory companies announced that the 10-year-old exclusive lab testing deals each had with a different big health insurer had crumbled.
In 2007, Laboratory Corporation of America locked up an
CEO SUMMARY: Seeking the higher lab-test payment rates that insurers pay hospital labs, some lab testing companies are buying rural, financially-struggling hospitals in what may be the latest twist on the pass-through billing strategy that certain lab testing firms have found to be lucrative in recent years. Currently, two lab companies are seeking to buy
CEO SUMMARY: Over the 24 months of a first-generation round of laboratory test utilization management projects, the Cleveland Clinic laboratories prevented more than 30,000 duplicate or inappropriate test orders, saving almost $2.7 million. Now implementing a second-generation of labtest utilization projects, the lab’s seven-year effort has prevented 160,072 tests and saved more than $5 million.
CEO SUMMARY: Innovative clinical labs and pathology groups are absorbing this year’s Medicare Part B price cuts while continuing to pursue opportunities to add value. A common theme from many speakers at last week’s Executive War College in New Orleans is that the lab must get mastery of its LIS and informatics specifically to enable
CEO SUMMARY: For many reasons, including cuts to lab test prices that health insurers pay, narrow networks, and more competition for lab test referrals, a significant number of lab companies are seeking ways to increase market share. These methods include the use of new laboratory test arrangements and innovative strategies for pricing lab tests. But
CEO SUMMARY: Two projects to boost the performance of the microbiology laboratory at University Health Services in Augusta, Ga., significantly reduced test turnaround times in ways that contributed to improved patient outcomes. The first project was in 2016, when the lab introduced mass spectrometry and MALDI-TOF for bacterial infections, cutting turnaround times from 104 to