Some Hospital-based Physician Pay Trends Identified by Becker’s Hospital Review Could Play to Pathology’s ‘Sweet Spot’

Savvy pathologists and clinical laboratory professionals will look for ways to generate increased value to clinicians by becoming partners and consultants in clinical decisions

Becker’s Hospital Review has identified seven trends in hospital-based physician pay that have emerged over the past several years. These trends reflect fundamental changes in the private practice of medicine and will be of interest to those pathologists and clinical laboratory managers who provide medical laboratory tests to office-based physicians.

As defined by Becker’s in a story published last year, the seven trends indicate shifts in income, along with increasing numbers of physicians migrating out of private practice to salaried hospital positions. Pathologists will want to keep these trends in mind as they plan their personal careers, taking special note of emerging opportunities to generate value in new ways. (more…)

In Its Second Year, Medical Home Program of CareFirst BCBS Produced $98 Million in Savings, along with Significant Quality Improvements

In Its Second Year, Medical Home Program of CareFirst BCBS Produced $98 Million in Savings, along with Significant Quality Improvements

One of the nation’s largest patient-centered medical home  (PCMH) programs has reduced costs dramatically and improved care quality for the second consecutive year. It recently reported the achievements produced during its first two years of operation.

This accomplishment is more evidence for pathologists and clinical laboratory executives that a properly implemented medical home program can deliver measurable gains in patient outcomes and corresponding reductions in the overall cost of care. In January 2011, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield started a PCMH program for primary-care physicians (PCPs). It serves about 1 million members in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia.

In Massachusetts, Blues Ink Pact with Partners HealthCare to Implement Alternative Quality Contract with Global Payment

Early evidence is that the AQC arrangement encourages providers to more carefully  utilize ancillary services, including clinical laboratory and pathology testing

Much attention is being given to the new healthcare payment models being introduced by the Medicare program during 2012. However, quietly—and with much less publicity—private health plans are deploying innovative, value-based payment models.

These developments need to be watched by clinical laboratory managers and pathologists, since it is predicted that the cost of medical laboratory testing will be bundled into most of the value-based reimbursement arrangements soon to enter the healthcare marketplace.