CEO SUMMARY: At Clinical Laboratory Partners, the strategy is to create and deliver a growing suite of enhanced lab information services to client physicians and payers in the Connecticut market. It wants to differentiate itself from competing lab companies by packaging lab test data in ways that add value to both physicians and payers in this region. It is a strategy that seems to be working, as Clinical Lab Partners reports that it expanded its share of the market by over 200% in the past four years.
ONE CHALLENGE FACING every independent lab company and hospital laboratory outreach program is how to leverage the value of lab test data in ways that create competitive advantage.
In Newington, Connecticut, Clinical Laboratory Partners (CLP) is positioned to help its client physicians use lab test information to deliver added value to private health plans in the region. CLP’s strategy is to introduce a series of information-based services ahead of national lab competitors.
“Every administrator and pathologist understands that they are in the information business,” stated James E. Fantus, the President and CEO of CLP. “However, few lab organizations devote the resources required to package test data into information-rich services that directly help their referring physicians.
“It was about four years ago when our management team decided that, if we made it a priority to improve how we collect and share information, that strategy would give us a competitive edge in our service market,” he said.
To achieve this goal, Clinical Laboratory Partners began to collect as much clinical laboratory data as possible. In the past 48 months, CLP has collected data on almost 10 million patients.
This effort is now helping CLP differentiate itself from competing labs in the market. It is capable of delivering a wide array of data to health plans and physicians in a variety of formats that other labs cannot. CLP’s sales reps use these information services to win new clients and expand market share.
Serving ACOs with Lab Tests
In addition, Fantus believes CLP will hold the high ground as its client physicians and hospitals form accountable care organizations (ACO). To help manage patient care more efficiently, ACOs are expected to be eager consumers for the enriched information that CLP has at hand.
“Once we decided on this strategy, we found it relatively easy to begin delivering more information and more information-management tools,” Fantus said. “One of our first such enhanced informatics services was a way to deliver lab test results to the smartphones and iPads of our client physicians. We were the first lab in our market to offer this capability.
“The next step was to use our data for many different purposes,” he said. “For example, health plans continually ask us for data they can use to manage patient care more efficiently.
“We are able to provide data sets organized by payer, by doctor, by disease category, or by diagnosis code,” continued Fantus. “For example, if a health plan wants to know how many patients have cardiac disease, it gives us an ICD-9 code or a series of codes and we can pull that data for them. Or, we can pull this data based on the physician who cares for those patients.”
Chief Information Officer David Molusis explained that Clinical Laboratory Partners stores its information in what it calls a data warehouse. “From our data warehouse, we can pull any management reports needed,” he said. “We want to use this data to gain competitive advantage.
“Client physicians can ask us for reports that make it possible for them to study their patient population,” noted Molusis. “Better yet, we can deliver reports to them that they can show to health plans to demonstrate why they should qualify for a pay-for-performance bonus, for instance.
Value from Lab Data
“Our lab can also deliver different reports to payers based on their patient populations,” he added. “We have one large internal medicine group that uses the outcomes we provide to them. Another client uses our information to study its HIV/AIDS patients. The state of Connecticut wants reports on microbiology trends.”
Competitors are limited in what they provide to the Connecticut market, Molusis stated. “Routinely, CLP can provide a wider variety of data options to clients,” he added. “The big differentiator for us is we let our clients slice and dice the data any way they want.
“If a physician wants to see his or her patients’ blood glucose levels over a certain period of time, we can do that,” he explained. “Whatever criteria that are requested, such as time period and the test codes to be studied—we return all the results for that patient population according to those criteria. Client physicians love these reports and they tell us that CLP is the only clinical lab that provides them with information in this way, according to the feedback we receive from them.”
THE DARK REPORT observes that CLP is on the cutting edge of a trend that is likely to spread as progressive laboratories seek to position themselves as information providers serving the needs of providers managing large groups of patients.
Clinical Lab Partners Posts Strong Growth
IT WAS IN 1998 when three Connecticut laboratories merged and formed Clinical Laboratory Partners, LLC (CLP), in Newington, Connecticut.
CLP has 85 locations, including six labs. The core lab is in Newington and other lab facilities are located in hospitals and physician group locations.
CLP has 900 employees and does about 12 million billable lab tests annually. Its data warehouse has lab test data on approximately 10 million patients.
According the CLP’s President, James E. Fantus, the lab company’s market share grew by 20% in the most recent fiscal year. Its revenue rose by 18% and its margin increased by almost 70%.