With Medicare taking a critical look at clinical laboratory test bills and labs contending with the onerous new federal EKRA law and the newly-implemented NCCI guidelines, there is a need for lab leaders to get accurate and timely recommendations on how their labs can respond and be compliant.

Confronting the market and regulatory challenges of managing clinical labs and anatomic pathology groups has sparked record attendance at the 24th Annual Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management, which opens today in New Orleans.

This week, experts from some of the largest medical laboratories, health insurers, and in-vitro diagnostics manufacturers in the U.S. will present on the state of the clinical laboratory industry—from legal and business angles to the latest in informatics, highly-specialized lab operations, and automated workflows.

Robert L. Michel, Editor-in-Chief of The Dark Report, a keynote speaker and founder of Executive War College and other industry-leading events, such as Lab Quality Confab and the Precision Medicine Institute Symposium (also this week), said the event supports the success of clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups at a critical time in the ongoing transformation of the American healthcare system.

“This year, all labs must deal with dramatic reductions in revenue and budgets, while needing to comply with tough new federal regulations,” Michel says, adding that this clinical lab management conference puts attendees face-to-face with the most innovative and successful clinical lab organizations that are ready to share how they are responding to such market forces as narrowing payer networks, Medicare lab test price cuts, and unwelcome prior-authorization requirements for lab test claims.

Among the lineup of master classes, breakout sessions, roundtables, and workshops, attendees will learn ways to sensibly transition to value over volume; important updates to changing federal and state laws, regulations, and reimbursement policies; perspectives from C-suite financial executives; and current opportunities in genetic testing and precision medicine.

 “In the midst of these powerful negative forces in the clinical laboratory marketplace, this Executive War College delivers plenty of good news,” emphasized Michel said. “One example is the progress some labs are having at adding value with lab testing services, consistent with the Clinical Lab 2.0 paradigm.

Attendees will learn how this handful of pioneering labs are being paid by health insurers for providing actionable clinical intelligence to both physicians and payers. These new sources of revenue are essential at a time when fee-for-service prices for lab tests are decreasing.

Fine-tuned to the needs of medical labs to comply with the PAMA private payer market price reporting rule, as well as to define their lab-specific value along the healthcare continuum, Executive War College offers two daylong, post-conference workshops geared to each objective.

Khosrow R. Shotorbani, MBA, MT(ASCP), Executive Director of the Project Santa Fe Foundation and CEO of Lab 2.0 Strategic Services, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, will be among those featured during the event.

“We are preparing for almost 900 attendees at this conference,” stated Michel. “This record level of support by senior lab administrators, executives, and pathologists shows how important it is for leaders in all types of medical laboratories to understand the negative economics reshaping how labs operate, along with learning what strategies successful labs are using to stay clinically relevant and financially stable.”

Also speaking at the 24th Annual Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management: Julie Khani, President of the American Clinical Laboratory Association; Curt Hanson, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Mayo Clinic Laboratories; Philip M. Oravetz, MD, of New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System; Philip Chen, MD, PhD, Chief Strategy Officer for Sonic Healthcare USA; Anil Asnani, Senior Vice President of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp), and Sonny Varadan, MBA, Chief Information Officer for Sonora Quest Laboratories.

—Liz Carey