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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When It Comes to Mining Healthcare Big Data, Including Medical Laboratory Test Results, Optum Labs Is the Company to Watch

Example is a big data-based study involving Optum and Mayo Clinic that indicates diabetes management can be too aggressive for some patients

Mayo Clinic has tapped Optum Labs’ huge data set to fuel research suggesting diabetes management can be too aggressive among those diabetics who don’t have problems controlling their glucose level. Optum Labs’ data is also being mined to investigate dozens of research initiatives, including a major fight against Alzheimer’s disease. These projects provide a glimpse into the growing role of big data in healthcare.

Because more than 70% of a typical patient’s permanent medical record consists of clinical laboratory test data, pathologists and medical laboratory scientists have a stake in the growth of big-data analytics, which are a core component in healthcare’s journey toward personalized medicine. (more…)

More Workplace Tension in Hospitals and Clinics as Three Generations of Physicians—Baby Boomer, Gen X, and Gen Y—Try to Get Along

Growth in the number of employed physicians is contributing to heightened workplace tensions due to the cultural differences among the three generations now working together

What happens when Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomer physicians are employees in the same hospital, clinic, or medical laboratory? There can be a clash of expectations, values, and goals that may cause tension in the workplace.

This happens when physicians, including pathologists, from different generations and different levels of experience levels come together as employees of hospitals and large medical groups, noted a recent story published by Modern Healthcare.

This is a result of the trend where more physicians are employed by hospitals today than ever before. For example, in 2006, just 16% of doctors worked for hospitals. However, by 2012 that figure had climbed to 20%. If physicians working in medical practices partially owned by hospitals are counted, then 26% of all physicians are employed by hospitals. (more…)

Health Insurers Spending Big Dollars to Be Players in ‘Big Data’; Trend has Implications for Clinical Pathology Laboratories

With healthcare reform likely to limit their growth, health insurers are expanding into data management to create new revenue streams

Faced with swift changes in healthcare, many of which are not favorable to the traditional business model of private health insurers, the nation’s largest payers are positioning themselves to be major players in the management of “big data.” That may have interesting implications for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups, which typically generate large quantities of medical laboratory test data.


Generation Y Physicians—Including Young Pathologists—Bring Different Goals and Values to their Practice of Medicine

As they hire young pathologists, pathology groups and clinical laboratories will need to factor in the generational preferences of these Gen Y physicians

Generation Y doctors take a much different approach to the practice of medicine than the Gen X and Baby Boomer doctors who preceded them. It will be important for clinical laboratories and pathology groups serving Gen Y physicians to understand these important differences.

While Gen Y doctors remain just as dedicated to the high standards of medicine as their predecessors, the current crop of young doctors approach the practice of medicine with a much broader world-view than previous generations of physicians, according to a recent story in Modern Healthcare (MH). (more…)

Medicare’s Final Rule for Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) Draws Fire from Healthcare Provider Groups

Prominent national health associations publish tough criticisms of the new final ACO rule

Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers have a ringside seat as the fight to introduce Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) gets underway. On one side is the federal government, represented by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). On the other side are a number of the nation’s most important healthcare organizations.

It is a fight that is heating up. The latest round came just weeks ago, when, on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, HHS unveiled its plan to accelerate the creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) in this country, including publishing the final rule. It took just days for criticism from major healthcare organizations to fill the new reports.

For its part, HHS believes the new ACO model will save Medicare as much as $430 million over three years. However, many healthcare organizations publicly state that this ACO model contains more risks than rewards. They believe it places an unmanageable reporting burden on the hospitals and physicians that participate in the ACO.

Healthcare Organizations Criticize HHS’ new ACO Model Final Rule

Take the American Medical Group Association (AMGA), for example. Executives representing this influential association expressed their membership’s concern about the ACO proposal. In a letter to Donald Berwick, M.D., Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the AMGA officials wrote that “In an AMGA survey of its membership, 93% of respondents stated that they would not participate in the ACO program unless the requirements in the final rule reflect major modifications to the proposals.”