The Top Five Initiatives your Lab Should be Working on

1. To automate or not to automate, that is the question?

Diagnostic laboratories continually seek to balance the physician’s request for faster test results with the productive capacity of the lab staff. This “need for speed” is complicated by increasing test volumes and a critical shortage of lab techs. One solution is to improve laboratory productivity by providing laboratory automation, but at what cost?  At Colaborate, we assist organizations to get the real return on investment of such a time consuming, yet potentially game changing, initiative.

2. Pre-authorization or non-payment for expensive tests.

The proliferation of molecular diagnostics is bringing a tidal wave of complexity:  cost and quality issues for payers, clinicians and laboratories. Although clinical laboratory testing costs represent only 3 percent of total health care costs today, payers are accelerating efforts to appropriately manage the utilization and reimbursement of molecular diagnostics, laboratory developed tests (LDT’s) and genetic tests.  Now more than ever, laboratories need to make sure that if they perform a test, that they indeed will be paid for the efforts.

3. Be careful what you insource.

Evolution of the clinical pathology laboratory has been one long progression of advances in technology. These improvements have transformed pathology and laboratory medicine from the manual performance of individual chemistries or hematology tests to sophisticated diagnostic analyzers that perform multiple laboratory tests in an automated format.  With this in mind , now more than ever, labs needs to assess the true “make vs. buy” decision and not be misled regarding test cost or reimbursement. Colaborate can help.

4. Revenue cycle management.

There is no doubt that the complexity of laboratory revenue cycle management is unmatched in all of health care. With frequent regulatory and compliance rules changes, ever tightening margins, and a severely weakened economy, it’s getting harder and harder for labs to make sure they’re not leaving potential profits on the table.  At Colaborate, we understand the need to collect for the tests performed.

5. Getting the most from your staff while improving moral and establishing a succession plan.

With the medical technology shortage tsunami coming, it’s important to get the most out of your employees while reshaping your lab’s working culture into an energizing, can-do environment. Top-performing labs are fostering this nurturing culture, while establishing realistic and thoughtful succession plans.  Colaborate can assist with ideas, tips and change models that you can put to work immediately in your laboratory.

Bonus: Direct-to-Consumer Testing and Its Impact on the Lab Market.

The direct-to-consumer (DTC) laboratory testing market, including at-home genetic testing, is defined as being comprised of traditional laboratory-based DTC testing and at-home genetic testing.  Though a small segment, it appears to be growing at 15 to 20 percent annually, driven in part by the approximately 45 million uninsured Americans and the aging of the baby boomers as they begin to retire.

by Kevin Hunter