Pathologists and Clinical Lab Executives Take Note: Medicare Has New Goals and Deadlines for Transitioning from Fee-For-Service Healthcare Models to Value-Based Reimbursement
Alternative payment models and value-based payment schemes create financial unknowns for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups
What happens to pathologists and clinical laboratories when fee-for-service reimbursement ceases to be the primary payment method for anatomic pathology services and medical laboratory tests?
After all, fee-for-service reimbursement for lab tests is what underpins today’s financial model for lab test services. Under this transaction-based business arrangement, a clinical laboratory that can increase its specimen volume will realize a lower average cost-per-test because of economies of scale within the lab. At the same time, the lower costs mean a bigger net margin available from profit, given the fixed price of the reimbursement for lab tests.
So what is a medical laboratory to do as healthcare shifts to a value-based reimbursement (VBR) model, formerly known as pay-for-performance? The answer to that question won’t take long to answer because of a recent announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). (more…)