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.

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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California Lab Company Closes After Negative Medicare Decision

WITH EACH NEW RULING about coverage for a proprietary diagnostic assay, Medicare officials send a message to the entire clinical laboratory industry that any lab company with a proprietary test needs to submit adequate clinical evidence that demonstrates two positive aspects of the test.

First, that the assay accurately measures the biomarkers that it says it

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Three Labs Make Big Bets to Build Major New Facilities

EVEN AS SOME CLINICAL LABORATORY COMPANIES are closing or selling following the deep cuts in what Medicare pays for lab tests, three major lab organizations are building new, super-sized laboratory facilities.

Those three companies are ARUP Laboratories, DaVita Labs, and Quest Diagnostics Inc.

In September, DaVita Labs, a division of DaVita Kidney Care, opened a 150,000 square-foot

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ProMedica Lab Succeeds with Metrics, Daily Huddles

CEO SUMMARY: In Toledo, Ohio, ProMedica Laboratories uses extensive metrics to analyze almost all processes in the lab. Under a process improvement program in place for more than five years, the lab has implemented daily management to help streamline day-to-day operations. Concurrently, a newly-formed cross-functional test utilization team adopted recommendations from the Choosing Wisely campaign

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CEO Offers Lab Strategies for a Post-PAMA World

CEO SUMMARY: With so many market forces working against the economic interests of clinical laboratories, it is essential that all labs develop appropriate strategies designed to sustain the quality of laboratory testing services and the financial integrity of the laboratory organization. In this intelligence briefing, XIFIN, Inc.’s CEO, Lâle White, explains five strategies that are

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Sonic to Pay $540 Million to Buy Aurora Diagnostics

CEO SUMMARY: Sonic Healthcare, Ltd., announced that it would pay $540 million—a multiple of 9.2 times EBITDA—to acquire Aurora Diagnostics, the anatomic pathology company based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Sonic will gain 32 pathology practice sites and add 220 pathologists to its network of regional clinical and pathology laboratories. The transaction marks the end

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