News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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Baystate harvests annual savings of 20%+ from simple strategies and steps

In today’s depressed economy, hospital laboratories are scrambling to control costs, reduce unnecessary spending, and get more for every dollar they spend. That is why the constantly-rising cost of reference tests and send-out referrals are now a prime target for laboratory budget-cutters across the United States.

Every laboratory’s reference/send-out test program is a potential budget-buster, for three reasons familiar to every lab director.

First, a continuous stream of new reference tests regularly hit the market and they are all expensive assays.

Second, many payers are reluctant to reimburse the full costs of high-priced reference tests.

Third, every hospital has physicians who over-utilize expensive reference tests.

But that has changed for the better at Baystate Reference Laboratories in Springfield, Massachusetts. Recently, lab administrators decided it was time to attack reference/send-out testing costs and bring them under control. Their goal was to reduce overall costs of referral and send-out testing by 10%. Following several months of concerted effort, the team beat its goal by 146%, and additional savings continue to roll in.

This generated important savings to the laboratory, particularly at a time when the parent health system wanted to conserve cash flow. Spearheading this effort for Baystate Reference Laboratories was Director Jason Newmark and Sharon Scott, who is the Referral Testing and Special Contracts Manager. According to Newmark and Scott, it was simple to achieve considerable savings in the reference/send-out testing program-while even improving physician access to useful new reference tests. With the help of an outside consultant who as an interim director of the laboratory, they addressed and implemented improvements in each of these areas:

  • Management Oversight of reference laboratory utilization and expenses
  • Test Code Accuracy, including: CPT; LIS test code; intercompany chargeback code; manual billing of tests not on chargemaster
  • Reference Laboratory Contracts, including: Group purchasing contracts, reference laboratories hot list; esoteric reference laboratory contracts
  • Reference Laboratory Consolidation
  • Third Party Billing, including: Genetic and molecular testing; research or investigational use only tests
  • Test Utilization and Medical Necessity
  • Make-Versus-Buy Analysis

Any hospital or health system laboratory seeking cost savings in its reference/send-out lab testing program can use these same strategies. Jason Newmark and Sharon Scott will discuss their successful cost-cutting program next Thursday, May 14, during a special audio conference on the subject of “Sure-Fire Methods to Slash Your Lab’s Reference and Send-out Testing Costs” that will commence at 1 P.M. Eastern time. Joining them as co-presenter is Anne Daley, Senior Managing Consultant, Ascendium Healthcare Consulting of Indianapolis, Indiana, who served as Interim Director of Baystate Reference Laboratories during the time of this innovative, cost-cutting project.

You and your laboratory team are invited to participate in the audio conference. Learn from these experts how to analyze your lab’s current reference/send-out program to identify the easy opportunities to generate significant savings. Explore how use of patient direct-billing for expensive reference tests is one effective way to get paid-along with the right way to prepare a patient in advance for their reference testing bill. Best of all, discover success secrets-along with pitfalls to avoid-that maximize your lab’s success at cutting costs will improving service to your referring physicians.

There’s even the opportunity to ask your own questions and explore the best methods for reducing costs in your lab. All this for one low flat fee of only $245 per dial-in site. So don’t wait! Reserve your “seat” today for this very special conference.

PS: HERE’S A HOT TIP! Show this e-briefing about how to save costs in laboratory reference/send-out testing to your hospital’s purchasing department. Several Dark Daily readers have told us their purchasing department was keenly interested in participating in this special audio conference and funded the cost of the audio conference registration from their cost center!


DATE: Thursday, May 14, 2009

1 p.m. EDT; 12 p.m. CDT; 11 a.m. MDT; 10 a.m. PDT

Your telephone or speakerphone

$245 per dial-in site (unlimited attendance per site)

Click here or call 1-800-560-6363 toll-free


1. Online

2. Call toll free: 800-560-6363

Registrations accepted until Thursday, May 14, 2009, noon EDT.

Cancellations before 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday, May 11, 2009 may receive a full refund less a $25 service charge.

Your audio conference registration includes:

  • A site license to attend the conference (invite as many people as you can fit around your speakerphone at no extra charge)
  • Downloadable PowerPoint presentations from our speakers
  • A full transcript emailed to you soon after the conference

The opportunity to connect directly with our speakers during the audience Q&A session