Moving to market are the newest generation of LIMS products designed to serve clinical laboratories while supporting quality reporting initiatives and new sources of revenue

It was Bob Dylan who made a big hit out of the song, “The Times, They Are A-Changin’.” The same could be said for the next generation of software products designed for use by medical laboratories.

To be fully successful, these next-generation laboratory information management systems (LIMS) must be radically different than the generations that came before. For example, medical laboratories are frustrated with the many limitations of older LIS products that still incorporate software technologies that date back to the 1980s and 1990s, such as MUMPS, which stands for Massachusetts General Hospital Utility Multi-Programming System.

But the newest LIMS products must do more than simply incorporate the latest technologies in software and cloud-based services. They must support all the ways that clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups generate increased revenue. More specifically, all medical laboratories will be generating vast quantities of molecular and genetic data. Therefore, an effective LIMS must be capable of capturing that data while also enabling the lab to perform certain healthcare big data analyses in support of the referring physicians and parent hospitals.

There also will be the need for medical laboratories to use their LIMS capabilities to support the data reporting requirements of Medicare and private health insurers. Payers increasingly want providers to report their quality monitoring, patient outcomes, and certain cost-of-care parameters. All these are functions that older LIS (laboratory information systems) products were not developed to provide.

Anatomic pathology group stakeholders and clinical laboratory managers understand the vital importance of their LIMS. Laboratory and healthcare workflows depend on the system’s:

  • efficiency;
  • scalability that supports the growth of the lab and medical practice; and,
  • flexibility to interface with modern, point-of-care telehealth technologies in ways that enable labs and practices to engage in today’s precision medicine healthcare initiatives.

The more immediate need is for a LIMS to be capable of supporting Medicare’s Quality Payment Programs (QPPs), primarily the MACRA Merit-based Incentive Payments System (MIPS). Most physicians, including pathologists, will participate in MIPS. The first Medicare incentives or penalties will be paid next year, based on 2018 metrics and performance.

Given all these changing demands of advanced software technologies and the need for medical laboratories to participate in various value-based revenue programs, how might a LIMS empower labs to ensure success and increased revenue?

Quality Payment Programs and Merit-based Incentives

As part of the shift toward value-based care, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) works to drive down costs and increase quality within both care and laboratory environments. MACRA establishes a data-driven payment system to reimburse service providers based on the outcome of services and care episodes, instead of the volume of services delivered or billed.

Combined with reduced payments, MACRA’s incentives and penalties, and Medicare’s QPP/MIPS payment programs, pressure has been increased on healthcare providers and medical laboratories alike. Thus, technology that gives labs a competitive edge is essential for thriving in an ever-evolving and increasingly competitive marketplace.

Meeting MACRA Goals with a Laboratory Information Management System

While electronic health record (EHR) systems have helped to consolidate patient protected health information (PHI), they do little to address the real-time creation of laboratory data and the accessibility of the massive volume of lab-related data stored in the average patient’s medical files.

A LIMS, however, helps to consolidate all this data in an easily accessible and powerful system. Some LIMS even combine with telehealth technologies to make data actionable and available at the point-of-care.

In this type of LIMS, laboratories, physicians, and other care providers all access the same dataset to ensure information is relayed quickly and efficiently. Interaction takes place using cloud-based interfaces, such as mobile apps or web portals. This ensures access to patient data and laboratory test results in a variety of locations without dependence on proprietary communications systems or hardware.

From bustling ERs and surgical wards to phlebotomists visiting long-term care facilities and mobile clinics, collecting and retrieving data becomes streamlined and accessible virtually anywhere.

The chart above illustrates how a LIMS offers increased potential to automate processes and scale operations while keeping physicians, patients, and other critical parties up to date. This increase in efficiency and access to data empowers providers to reach improved patient outcomes and reduce hospital readmission rates, increasing revenue for both clinicians and clinical laboratories. (Graphic copyright: NetLIMS.)

When implemented properly, a LIMS also helps laboratories and healthcare facilities meet the terms of MIPS. This reduces Medicare penalties and ensures payment adjustments, which improve revenue streams even further.

Understanding LIMS and Cloud-Based Lab Systems

To help outline and explain the benefits of a LIMS for laboratories and healthcare facilities, The Dark Report, in conjunction with NetLIMS, a global provider of laboratory information management systems to hundreds of hospitals and commercial laboratories worldwide, has produced a free white paper titled, “The Path to More Revenue: Cloud-Based LIMS, Mobile Apps, and Point-of-Care Telehealth.”

  • This white paper addresses critical concerns, including:
  • Overviews of new technologies;
  • The impact of value-based programs on the lab market;
  • The importance of MACRA and MIPS adherence;
  • How technology, such as a LIMS, can help labs achieve improved efficiency; and,
  • Tips on choosing a LIMS vendor to maximize ROI.

To download your free copy of the whitepaper click on this link:  Or, copy this URL into your browser: https://www.darkdaily.com/whitepaper/the-path-to-more-revenue-cloud-based-lims-mobile-apps-and-point-of-care-telehealth .

Thanks to advances in LIMS design and development, remote patient digital therapeutics, and cloud-based technology, healthcare providers now have unprecedented opportunities to better manage the health of patients with chronic conditions. In addition, it can help you achieve better efficiency, economics, and compliance with MACRA.

This free white paper is your first step toward significantly reducing hospital readmission rates, bridging the gap between labs, physicians, and other healthcare providers they serve, and positively affecting patient outcomes, improving quality measures, and maximizing reimbursements for all services you provide.

—Jon Stone

Related Information:

The Path to More Revenue: Cloud-Based LIMS, Mobile Apps, and Point-of-Care Telehealth

How Close Is the End of Private Practice Pathology as We’ve Known It?

Attention Anatomic Pathologists: Do You Know Medicare Is Prepared to Change How You Are Paid, Beginning on January 1, 2017?

Innovator Hospitals Bring ICUs into the Info Age, Using New Design Approaches that involve Medical Laboratory Tests