Opportunities Ahead for Labs That Prepare

Opportunities Ahead for Labs That Prepare

AT THE END OF EVERY YEAR, IT’S ALWAYS SMART BUSINESS FOR EVERY LAB to peer into the future specifically to identify the best clinical and financial opportunities. With the New Year just a few weeks away, this issue of THE DARK REPORT is designed to help you and your management team prepare for what’s coming in 2016.

We offer you our overview of the most important healthcare macro trends here. This is to help you with your lab’s strategic planning. The U.S. healthcare system is transforming and it is essential that your lab organization evolve in ways that keep it clinically relevant and financially viable.

At the same time, 2016 will not be all good news for the lab industry. CMS is ready to gather market price data during 2016 and use it to set Part B clinical laboratory test fees. Similarly, the FDA continues to push forward with its plans to regulate laboratory-developed tests. Both initiatives are expected to have negative financial consequences for the nation’s medical laboratories and pathology groups. You’ll read our summary of these developments here.

We urge you to incorporate all these insights into your lab’s strategic plan while plotting a proactive course of action. Next year, no lab can do the same things it has done in the past five years and expect to see a satisfactory financial result by year end. What is true is that the changing needs of hospitals, physicians, and payers are creating new opportunities for labs to hold their own—and even prosper—when they introduce new diagnostic services that allow providers to use lab tests more effectively to produce improved patient outcomes while helping to reduce the overall cost of care.

After you read this issue of THE DARK REPORT, I encourage you to go back through all of 2015’s output to refresh your understanding of how the innovative labs we profiled over the year are delivering value in new ways—and being financially rewarded as a consequence.

The examples are inspiring: integrated radiology/pathology at UCLA, diagnostic management teams at Vanderbilt, our introduction of the Laboratory Value Pyramid, genetic test utilization management at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Cleveland Clinic, success with pharmacogenomics tests at Mayo Clinic, and 10 ways to add value at Henry Ford Health. We hope and expect that our research and reporting help your lab learn to add value!

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