27th annual meeting of medical laboratory and pathology managers delivers insights on the path ahead for diagnostics, ranging from the supply chain shortage and the ‘Great Resignation’ to advances in artificial intelligence and whole genome sequencing in service of precision medicine
Divergent paths of diagnostic testing are among the central topics being discussed at the 27th annual Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management happening this week in New Orleans.
What’s coming as healthcare providers move to post-COVID-19 pandemic workflows will be of keen interest to clinical laboratory leaders attending this critical event. Several new and dynamic market changes are reshaping the development of, ordering, and reimbursement for medical laboratory tests. They include:
- Millennials as change agents in how care is accessed and delivered.
- New buyers of large volumes of clinical lab tests, such as retail pharmacies.
- How clinical laboratories can earn new sources of revenue while supporting precision medicine.
Clinical Labs Should Prepare for the ‘Coming Roller Coaster Ride’
Robert L. Michel, Editor-in-Chief of Dark Daily’s sister publication, The Dark Report, and Founder of the Executive War College, described the “coming roller coaster ride” for the pathology and clinical laboratory industries.
Amid the usual operational issues labs deal with (e.g., workforce shortages, supply chain disruptions, regulatory pressures), he noted the emergence of new and powerful forces pulling clinical laboratories and pathology groups in all directions.
“One primary factor is how Millennials will use healthcare differently than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers,” Michel noted. “Similarly, Millennials will make up 75% of the pathologists and the lab workforce by 2025.
“Another major force for change will be new buyers of clinical laboratory tests,” he continued. “For example, expect to see national retail pharmacy chains build thousands of primary care clinics in their retail pharmacies. These clinics will need lab tests and will become major buyers of near-patient analyzers and lab tests.
“A third interesting factor is that a new class of in vitro diagnostics (IVD) manufacturers are developing analyzers and test systems that use minimal amounts of specimens and return answers in minutes. Primary care clinics in retail pharmacies will be interested in buying these lab testing solutions,” Michel concluded.
Peer-to-Peer Learning Opportunities
With approximately 90 presenters scheduled, clinical laboratory leaders from such prestigious institutions as Johns Hopkins Hospital, Mayo Clinic, United Indian Health Services, and more will facilitate peer-to-peer learnings throughout the conference.
In addition, industry executives scheduled to deliver keynotes include Jon Harol, Lighthouse Lab Services Founder and President; Stan Letovsky, PhD, Vice President for AI, Data Sciences and Bioinformatics as well as other executives from Labcorp; and Curtiss McNair II, Vice President and General Manager of Laboratory Services at American Oncology Network.
In addition, several sessions and panel Q/A discussions will cover critical legal and regulatory issues and payer challenges facing the industry.
New Technologies, Workflows, Analytics
The 2022 Executive War College master classes, breakouts, panel discussions, and benefactor sessions will highlight several significant themes:
- Lab data analytics and utilization. Sessions this year are heavily weighted toward data analytics, aggregation, and utilization. Look for case studies demonstrating the value of lab data, and where and how data has become actionable and monetized. As Dark Daily previously reported, useful data structures have been difficult to achieve for clinical laboratories; however, the case studies featured during this week’s conference will demonstrate signs of progress and highlight lessons learned.
- Automation. Several case studies are planned that focus on expansion and modernization using laboratory automation. From Butler Health System, an independent hospital system in western Pa., Robert Patterson, MD, Medical Director of Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, and Laboratory Outreach, will detail steps Butler took that enabled its labs to better compete with other area health systems and national reference laboratories. Likewise, Eric Parnell, System Supervisor of Microbiology for Bronson Healthcare in southern Mich., will discuss his lab’s transition to and implementation of total laboratory automation.
- Genetic testing and next-generation sequencing (NGS). Quickly becoming the foundational disruptor technology on which many new and powerful clinical laboratory tests and procedures are based, genomic testing has now become accessible and affordable. Many clinical laboratories and pathology groups are using molecular diagnostics testing to deliver clinical value to referring physicians.
Other sessions include:
- Launching and scaling clinical NGS testing in a clinical environment (featuring a project at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego).
- How labs and payers can work together to achieve better outcomes and health equity using genomic testing.
- Effective ways to repurpose PCR and other genetic test instruments to build specimen volume and increase lab revenue.
Paths Forward for Clinical Labs and Pathology Groups
Another important topic being discussed at the 2022 Executive War College is how to position clinical laboratories and pathology groups for the next phase of modern healthcare.
- Attracting capital for clinical labs and pathology groups.
- Emerging concepts in growth strategies.
- Business valuation factors.
- Unexpected disruptions during sales closings.
These are just a few highlights of the informative sessions and expert speakers scheduled during this week’s 27th annual Executive War College in New Orleans. Look for more coverage in Dark Daily during the days ahead and in upcoming editions of our sister publication The Dark Report.
Full details about the 2022 Executive War College can be found by clicking on this link. (Or copy/paste this URL into your web browser: http://www.executivewarcollege.com.)
Speakers, session topics, and the conference agenda can be viewed by clicking on this link. (Or copy/paste this URL into your web browser: https://executivewarcollege.darkintelligencegroup.com/executive-war-college-agenda-2022.)