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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Executive War College on Clinical Laboratory and Pathology Management Returns in November with Emphasis on New Clinical and Financial Opportunities

Following a nearly two-year disruption due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, pathologists and clinical laboratory professionals once again have an opportunity to gather and learn from each other

It is good news that the daily number of new cases of COVID-19 continue declining here in the United States. That fact, and the growing number of vaccinations, have encouraged state and federal officials to lift many restrictions on business and social activities.

Clinical laboratories are watching a big drop in the daily number of COVID-19 tests they perform, even as routine test volumes climb and more patients show up in doctors’ offices for the typical mix of ailments and health conditions.

It’s true that many familiar routines are back. But it is also true that things are not exactly the way they were pre-pandemic. And that’s the rub. Going forward, what should medical laboratory managers and pathologists expect to be the “post-pandemic normal” in how patients access care and how providers deliver clinical services? How will healthcare in this country be different from what it was pre-pandemic?

Preparing Clinical Lab Leaders for What Comes Next

These questions and more will be front and center when the Executive War College on Lab and Pathology Management returns on Nov. 2-3, 2021, at the Hyatt Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio. The theme of this first live gathering since the spring of 2019 will be “Preparing Your Clinical Laboratory and Pathology Group for Post-Pandemic Success.”

“Today, lab managers have the interesting challenge of understanding the new opportunities they can use to advance their labs, both clinically and financially,” stated Robert L. Michel, Editor-in-Chief of Dark Daily and its sister publication The Dark Report, and founder of the Executive War College. “It isn’t that the pandemic changed healthcare in fundamental ways. Rather, it is that the pandemic accelerated changes that were underway before the outbreak began.

“That’s true of telehealth as well, for example,” he continued. “Once the nation was locked down, utilization of virtual physician visits and telehealth services skyrocketed. Today, national surveys confirm that as many as 50% of all patients and physicians have used a telehealth service, are comfortable with this type of appointment, and are ready to continue to use virtual office visits.

Robert Michel

Robert Michel (above), Editor-in-Chief of Dark Daily, its sister publication The Dark Report, and founder of The Dark Intelligence Group, will host the first live edition of the Executive War College since May 2019 in San Antonio. The theme will be “Preparing Your Clinical Laboratory and Pathology Group for Post-Pandemic Success.” Attendees from clinical laboratories and pathology groups will gain critical insights they can act on immediately. (Photo copyright: The Dark Report.)

“Another trend accelerated by the pandemic is patient self-testing at home,” Michel added. “Government health officials saw the benefit of clearing for clinical use different specimen collection systems and COVID-19 test methods designed for use by consumers in the comfort of their home. Today, consumers can choose from multiple specimen collection products and SARS-CoV-2 tests designed for in-home use. Clinical laboratory managers should consider this development to be a consumer home-test baseline. Federal officials have created a regulatory pathway that will make it easier and faster for federal regulators to clear other types of diagnostic tests for consumer home use.”

What if the FDA Approves More Consumer At-Home Tests?

There are implications to each of the two trends described above. In the case of telehealth, if patients see their doctors virtually and the doctors order medical tests, how do clinical laboratories access these patients to collect the specimens needed to do this testing?

Similarly, if, in coming years, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increases the number of diagnostic test specimen-collection kits that consumers can use from home, how should local clinical laboratories position themselves to receive those kits and perform those tests?

These are two examples of important questions to be answered at sessions scheduled for the Executive War College in San Antonio on Nov. 2-3. Case studies by innovative lab leaders will address topics ranging from high-level strategy to daily management, operations, marketing, and managed care contracting.

Attendance Limited at This Fall’s Executive War College

At the first live edition of the Executive War College since May 2019, attendees will notice one significant difference from earlier years. By design, and for the safety and well-being of attendees, the number of attendees will be limited to 300. The hotel follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and is prepared to adjust those numbers as CDC guidance evolves. Thus, those interested in attending this year’s conference are advised to register early to guarantee their place and avoid being disappointed.

Suggestions for session topics and speakers are welcome and can be sent to Conference details, session topics, and speakers will be updated regularly at

So, register today because seating is limited at the 2021 Executive War College Presents “Preparing Your Clinical Laboratory and Pathology Group for Post-Pandemic Success.” To ensure your place at this valuable conference, click HERE or place this URL ( into your browser.

—Michael McBride

Related Information

Executive War College Presents: Preparing Your Clinical Laboratory and Pathology Group for Post-Pandemic Success

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Advisory, Financial, Operational and Technical Assistance to the Laboratory Industry

P.O. Box 1288
571 York Street
York Harbor, Maine 03911
Phone: 207-363-8230


Brief Corporate History

The Nichols Management Group, LTD., (NMG) provides laboratory consulting services for healthcare organizations. NMG specializes in operations optimization, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), sales and marketing development and go-to-market strategies. NMG’s focus is on lowering costs, increasing revenue and optimizing laboratory operations for healthcare organizations nationwide. We advise, but more importantly, we give our clients the tools and assistance they need for positive results, from planning and implementation to management support. NMG has been the driving force behind many of the most successful ventures in laboratory management. We concentrate our considerable resources on disseminating information to serve individual and corporate investors, healthcare providers and other medically-oriented organizations.


David Nichols, President and Founder of  The Nichols Management Group in 1988, has played a fundamental role in the field of laboratory strategic analysis and marketing management for over twenty-five years. His reputation and the close associations he has developed during those years have enabled him to attract Senior Consultants to the NMG team with advanced degrees in a variety of business and technical disciplines. These dedicated professionals provide expert detailed analytical assessments, as well as day-to-day management expertise that is effective implementation.

David Nichols, MBA

Since founding NMG, Mr. Nichols has been fundamental in identifying, negotiating and closing 11 acquisitions worth over $900 million, and launching three start-ups worth $475 million.

Mr. Nichols’ previous experience includes serving as Director of Worldwide Business Planning for Allergan Pharmaceutical, a division of SmithKline Beecham, and as Director of Physician Marketing and Managed Care for SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories. He also served as a Market Research Analyst and Senior Sales Representative at MetPath Laboratories.

Mr. Nichols received his MBA from Cornell University and was awarded the Sloan Certificate in Hospital Administration while at Cornell. He also studied labor relations at the University of Bath (England) and received his BBA from the University of Miami.

Tom Hirsch, MBA

A senior consultant for NMG, Mr. Hirsch has an extensive background in consulting, financial management and operations of hospital and independent laboratories. From 1984 to 2002, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of PathLab, the second-largest laboratory in New England prior to its purchase by LabCorp for $110 million in 2001.

Mr. Hirsch has been an industry leader working with institutions and developing innovative solutions to enhance lab performance. PathLab managed six hospital laboratories and three major physician office labs and had a joint venture with New York University Medical Center.

Mr. Hirsch also served as President of Diagnostic Laboratory Services in Honolulu from 1989-1994. The company was a joint venture with Queens Medical Center that Mr. Hirsch helped start in 1986. It soon grew into the largest laboratory in Hawaii with $55 million in sales. Mr. Hirsch previously served as Associate in the Health and Medical Division of Booz-Allen & Hamilton in New York, where he performed planning and financial management assignments. He also served as Vice President of Laboratory Operations for MetPath, Inc. (Quest Diagnostics).

Mr. Hirsch earned his MBA degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and his BA magna cum laude from Duke University.

Harold Kisner, PhD, MBA

A senior consultant with NMG since 1987, Dr. Kisner has extensive experience in the technical and operational aspects of clinical and anatomic esoteric laboratories. From 1987-2003, Dr. Kisner was COO and Laboratory Director and had P&L responsibility for all institutional clients at Pat lab Inc., one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic integrated health network laboratories in the country. In that capacity, he helped design, implement and oversee the various management models servicing seven hospitals and six large group practice physician office laboratories, as well as all technical and medical aspects of the clinical and anatomic pathology laboratories.

Dr. Kisner is a nationally recognized expert in instrument selection, workflow design and optimization and laboratory automation. He is a valued resource to several large integrated health systems and academic medical centers throughout the U.S. He also consults with several in-vitro diagnostic companies, serves on several scientific advisory boards and advises private equity firms on investments in the diagnostics sector.

Dr. Kisner is a special advisor to the board of the Clinical Laboratory Management Review (CLMR), authors its “Talking About Technology” column, and as previously served as editor of the “Diagnostics Report,” a newsletter on the diagnostics industry. He has numerous publications on both scientific and management topics and frequently speaks on the subject of laboratory management.

Dr. Kisner received his Ph.D. in Clinical Chemistry from the University of Rhode Island and his MBA from an executive program at Loyola College in Maryland.


Skills and Areas of Expertise

  •  Acquisition, Divestiture and Partnering Services
  • Management and Recruitment Services
  • Operations and Performance Improvement
  • Strategic Planning and Options
  • Financial Services
  • Contracting
  • Sales and Marketing Expertise
  • Information Technology Services
  • Productivity
  • Quality Assurance
  • Lean Six Sigma

Selected List of Clients and Investments

  •  Aetna/Hartford, CT
  • American Clinical lab Services/Lyndhurst, NJ
  • Aperio/Vista, CA
  • APF/Laguna Beach, CA
  • Asia Pacific Laboratories
  • Behrman Capital/New York, NY
  • BioDiagnostic Laboratories/Torrance, CA
  • BioQual/Rockville, MD
  • Boston Medical Center/Boston, MA
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Assoc./Chicago, IL
  • CAP/Chicago, IL
  • CPHCR/Sacramento, CA
  • Cain Brothers/New York, NY
  • Catholic Healthcare West/San Jose, CA
  • CCPC/San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Children’s Hospital/Dallas, TX
  • Clinical Diagnostic Services/Englewood, NJ
  • Community Memorial Hospital/Ventura, CA
  • ConVerge Diagnostics/Boston, MA
  • Cottage Health System/Santa Barbara, CA
  • DaVita Laboratory Services/Deland, FL
  • Deloitte & Touche/New York, NY
  • Diagnostic Laboratory Services/Honolulu, HI
  • Emerson Hospital/concord, MA
  • Ehrlich Lab/Chennai, India
  • Galen Health Partners/New York, NY
  • Genomic Health/San Francisco, CA
  • Hartford Hospital/Hartford, CT
  • Horizon Blue Cross/Newark, NJ
  • IDEXX Laboratories/Portland, ME
  • Independence Blue Cross/Philadelphia, PA
  • John Muir Health System/Walnut Creek, CA
  • KPMG/Chicago, IL
  • Laboratory Economics/Poughkeepsie, NY
  • LabCo/Paris, France
  • LabCorp/Burlington, NC
  • LifePoint/Midland Park, NJ
  • Linden, LLC/Chicago, IL
  • Lourdes Health System/Camden, NJ
  • Massachusetts General Hospital/Boston, MA
  • Mt. Sinai/New York, NY
  • North Shore University Health Systems/Evanston, IL
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital/Chicago, IL
  • NYU Health System/New York, NY
  • New Mountain Capital/New York, NY
  • Novartis/Bulach, Switzerland
  • Ohio Health/Columbus, OH
  • Orlando Regional Medical Center/Orlando, FL
  • PacLab/Seattle, WA
  • Partners Health Care/Boston, MA
  • PathLab/Portsmouth, NH
  • PAML/Spokane, WA
  • Pathology Consultants Medical Group/Los Angeles, CA
  • Predictive Biosciences/Lexington, MA
  • Providence Health System/Portland, OR
  • Quest Diagnostics/Madison, NJ
  • Ropes & Gray/New York, NY
  • Ruka/Pyka/Helsinki, Finland
  • Sansum Clinic/Santa Barbara, CA
  • Shiel Medical Laboratories/Brooklyn, NY
  • Shore Health System/Easton, MD
  • St. Vincent’s Health/Bridgeport, CT
  • Specialty Laboratories/Santa Monica, CA
  • Spectra Lab/Waltham, MA
  • State of California/Sacramento, CA
  • Strata Pathology Services
  • Sutter Health System/Sacramento, CA
  • Swedish Medical Center/Seattle, WA
  • Tenet Health System/Dallas, TX
  • University of Alabama/Birmingham, AL
  • University of Vermont/Burlington, VT
  • University of Texas SW/Dallas, TX
  • Washington G2 Reports/Washington, DC
  • Women and Infants Hospital/Providence, RI