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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Nation’s Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups Face Greatest Pressure to Cut Costs and Deliver More Value than at Any Other Time in Past 25 Years


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Media Contact: Ron Martin


AUSTIN, Texas (September 23, 2014) —  Topic number one at clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups across the nation is cost-cutting, for two reasons. First, it is budget time at hospitals and labs are being told to aggressively reduce their costs in 2015. Second, health insurers are paying less for medical lab testing. The management challenge for these labs is straightforward: Get good at cutting costs and moving those resources to lab activities that add value to the lab’s physician clients and other stakeholders.

“Today’s healthcare environment requires all labs to manage their resources to achieve two related outcomes,” observed Robert L. Michel, founder of Lab Quality Confab and Editor-in-Chief of The Dark Report. “First, the labs must eliminate waste, reduce the source of systemic errors, and do so in a manner that sustains a high quality lab testing service. This is the necessary response to the year-over-year reduction in revenue that is happening now.

“Second,” Michel continued, “labs must take the savings that result from these operational improvements and use that money to build their clinical capabilities. Technology in lab medicine is advancing at a rapid rate. To stay clinically-relevant in the communities they serve, medical laboratories must have the resources to offer new diagnostic services to their clients. Only by increasing the value of the lab testing services they offer to clinicians will community labs withstand the forces of consolidation and integration.”

Currently, Lab Quality Confab, taking place October 21-22 in New Orleans, is the only annual conference that provides managers working in clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups with access to professional training in the methods of Lean, Six Sigma, process improvement, and quality management systems (QMS) such as ISO 15189, in addition to educational forums on the art and science of increasing the value of services that labs deliver to physicians, patients, and payers.

On the program at the Confab’s headquarters hotel, the Astor Crowne Plaza in the French Quarter, are 60 speakers and 40 sessions. This year, specialized training—with certificates of completion—will be offered in specific quality management tools such as Value-Stream Mapping and DMAIIC. The conference will also present case studies from clinical labs and pathology groups using these methods in every aspect of lab operations, from specimen collection and transport to core lab automation and improving billing/collections.

Lab Quality Confab presents the ideal venue for senior executives and administrators, managers, and quality team members who face a stark reality: not only are they getting less money today from their parent organizations and from health insurance plans, but they are also entering a multi-year period that will see equally dramatic reductions in lab test reimbursement and lab revenue—and who thus now have at stake nothing less than financial survival and the ability to remain independent.

The full agenda for Lab Quality Confab 2014, including the speaker roster, topics, and times, can be viewed here. For information on registration, use this link.


Established in 1995, THE DARK REPORT  is the leading source of exclusive business intelligence for laboratory CEOs, COOs, CFOs, Pathologists and Senior industry executives. It is widely-read by leaders in laboratory medicine and diagnostics. The DARK REPORT produces the famous Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management (every spring, which showcases innovations by the nation’s and globe’s leading laboratory organizations. Dark Daily is an Internet-based e-briefing intelligence service, read worldwide by thought leaders in laboratory and pathology management. Other well-known conferences conducted by THE DARK REPORT are Lab Quality Confab (on the use of Lean and Six Sigma methods in labs and hospitals), Molecular Summit (on the integration of in vivo and in vitro diagnostics). THE DARK REPORT co-produces Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine annually in the United Kingdom; Executive Edge bi-annually in Canada; and The Business of Pathology bi-annually in Australia.