Laboratory Management

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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.

AP Practices Cautioned to Focus on Expenses

CEO SUMMARY: Reviewing an AP practice’s expenses is vitally important today when payers are cutting reimbursement. In the past, government and private payers paid more for the technical and professional components of anatomic pathology work, but those rates have eroded. While conversations about revenue tend to obscure the need to talk about expenses, effective financial

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Northwell Health Lab Team Leverages Data to Add Value

CEO SUMMARY: Today, insurers get risk-adjusted payments for treating patients who have high-cost health conditions and they make risk-adjusted payments to physicians, hospitals, and other providers. At Northwell Health, the clinical lab saw the opportunity to leverage lab test data with other clinical and demographic data to identify patients who were undiagnosed or whose conditions were

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BRLI, LabCorp, Quest Disclose Data Breaches of 20M Patients

EARLIER THIS MONTH, BioReference Laboratories, Laboratory Corp. of America, and Quest Diagnostics each reported data breaches. The breaches originated with the American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA), which provides payment services to the three lab companies, according to published reports. The number of patients affected from the three incidents is at least 20 million and the breaches

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Pathologists Bio-Med Labs Is Purchased by PathGroup

TWO ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY SUPERGROUPS in two different regions joined forces this month. This happened when PathGroup of Nashville, acquired Pathologists Bio-Medical Laboratories (PBM) of Dallas.

Both groups are similar in that they are very large and do a combination of anatomic, clinical, and molecular testing. PathGroup has 75 physicians and PhDs on its staff and PBM

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TriCore Forges Ahead to Help Payers Manage Population Health

CEO SUMMARY: To develop new sources of revenue to offset declining fee-for-service payments, TriCore Reference Labs is collaborating with health insurers in novel ways to improve patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs. To achieve this, TriCore brings together data from lab tests, EHRs, patient demographics,  and geography. Analytical tools allow it to assess population health

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LabCorp to Acquire Iowa’s Metropolitan Medical Lab

CEO SUMMARY: Without making an announcement, LabCorp said it would acquire the Metropolitan Medical Laboratory, a privately-held laboratory founded in 1914 in Davenport, Iowa. The local newspaper reported that some 136 employees from Metro Medical’s laboratory operations in Moline, Ill., may lose their jobs. Last month, LabCorp said Medicare and other cuts in payment to

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