March 13, 2017 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

There’s bad news for clinical labs and pathology groups that lack the capability of collecting copays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket payments from patients at time of service. As of October, 2016, four out of every 10 Americans under the age of 65 with health insurance had a high-deductible health plan. That means these patients are responsible for paying most or all of their lab test costs before the HDHP insurance coverage kicks in. This new data is from the federal Centers for Disease and Prevention National Health Interview Survey, which found that 39.1% of people under 65 with private insurance were enrolled in a high-deductible health plan.


Enrollment in HDHPs is increasing at a steady pace. As of 2010, the CDC reported that 25.3% of people under 65 with private health insurance had an HDHP, compared to the 39.1% number as of last fall. That’s a 54% increase in HDHP enrollment. Innovative labs are implementing the capability to collect payment from these patients at time of service because they understand that these patients are typically responsible for annual deductibles of $3,000 to $5,000 as individuals and $5,000 to $10,000 as families.


As part of their clinical laboratory joint venture, Northwell Health and NYC Health and Hospitals announced plans to build a 36,000 square foot lab in Little Neck, N.Y. It will cost $47.7 million, will perform 50 million tests annually, and is expected to open in 2018.


In Pennsylvania, news sources report that Paul Mango is considering running for governor of that state. Mango recently resigned from McKinsey & Company. He is familiar to long-serving clinical laboratory executives as the architect of the Pittsburgh-based Reference Laboratory Alliance. Launched in 1995, during the heyday of closed-panel gatekeeper HMOs, this was a regional hospital laboratory network with 40 participating hospitals that won managed care contracting status for its member hospitals’ lab outreach programs.

dark_daily_logoHave you caught the latest e-briefings from DARK Daily? If so, then you’d know about …

…a urine test developed by researchers in the United Kingdom that can quickly reveal the health of an individual’s eating habits and that might eventually create a new market that could be served by clinical labs.

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That’s all the insider intelligence for this report.
Look for the next briefing on Monday, April 3, 2017.

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