What Labs and Pathology Groups Can Expect in 2022

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IN RECENT WEEKS, OUR EDITORIAL TEAM has been developing session topics and speakers for the upcoming Executive War College Presents: Preparing Your Clinical Laboratory and Pathology Group for Post-Pandemic Success, which happens on Nov. 2-3, 2021. It has been an eye-opening process because of how many forces for change are at work. This is true of the American healthcare system, as well as in the clinical laboratory marketplace. 

To assemble our conference, we typically have 100 or more conversations with lab leaders, executives at IVD companies, and the attorneys, billing companies, and consulting companies who regularly interact with sizeable numbers of lab clients. Typically, these individuals are keen observers of market trends and disruptive technologies. 

Each of these conversations gives us an inside perspective on a wide range of new and intriguing developments within the profession of laboratory medicine. Often, a single conversation can lead to a timely intelligence briefing in an issue of The Dark Report where we are first to articulate and describe an important trend that will require an appropriate response by the executives and administrators of the nation’s clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups. This issue provides several examples. 

Our first briefing describes the intensifying efforts of health insurers to audit lab test claims. One significant aspect of these more frequent audits is that private payers are going back as much as six years in their audits. As our clients and regular readers know, payers have been slammed by a steadily-growing Tsunami of genetic lab test claims. Payers recognize that a substantial number of these claims are for genetic tests that have no clinical value. It is only natural for them to want to identify the most egregious offenders by the use of audits. But these same audits also ensnare labs with good ethics. 

Our second briefing addresses the surging demand for pathologists, which far outstrips the supply of qualified candidates to fill these positions. At the same time, the pandemic, and greater acceptance of virtual clinical services, is changing how Millennial pathologists evaluate their job opportunities. 

Our third briefing is an interview with a fast-growing lab company from India that has opened its first lab in the United States, demonstrating that globalization of laboratory medicine is underway.

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