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.


Hospital and Physician Adoption of EHRs Will Accelerate Because of Federal Incentives

Clinical Pathology Laboratories Swamped With Requests to Interface Their LISs to EHRs

This is the first year that hospitals and physicians can qualify for federal incentives associated with their adoption and meaningful use of electronic health record (EHR) systems. Already clinical laboratories and pathology groups report increasing demand for them to interface their laboratory information systems (LIS) to the physicians’ EHRs.

The financial incentives for hospitals and physicians are authorized as part of the federal government’s health information technology (HIT) incentive program. To get their fair share, healthcare providers must demonstrate by the end of 2011 (September 30th for hospitals) a 90-day contiguous meaningful use of an electronic health record (EHR) for Medicare transactions—and either adopt, implement or upgrade an EHR for Medicaid also within 90 days. Hospitals can receive payments for both, but physicians only one. (more…)