Healthcare Mergers, Physician Consolidation, and Increased Healthcare Utilization Expected to Increase Medical Cost by 6% in 2019

PwC report indicates deal-making may generate long-term savings, but adds to higher medical costs as hospital systems dominate markets and drive up prices Consolidation of big hospital health networks combined with a loss of independent doctor practices has changed the healthcare landscape in recent years, and clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups have been directly impacted. Now, those trends, along with increased access to care, are expected to push employer medical cost up by...

Insurer-Organized HIE in California Struggles to Get Participation from State’s Hospitals, Physicians, and Clinical Pathology Laboratories

California insurers are building a massive health information exchange (HIE), but so far only one healthcare system is interested in participating Healthcare Big Data is big business. But it requires large databases with complete records of many patients, including their medical laboratory test results. That’s why two big California insurers would like to build such a data warehouse, however, hospitals and physicians are wary of feeding their patient data into an insurer-organized HIE. Why?...

Many Hospitals and Health Systems Report Flat or Falling Rates of Inpatient Admissions, a Trend that Causes Hospital Laboratory Budgets to Shrink

Weaker finances at the nation’s hospitals causes administrators to further shrink the budgets for clinical laboratory and anatomic pathology services Hospital admissions across the country continue to be flat or in decline over recent years. The result is less revenue for many hospitals. As a result, administrators continue to shrink the budgets of hospital service lines—including clinical laboratory services. For pathologists and clinical laboratory leaders, this poses the challenge of...

Class Action Lawsuit Filed in California Names Quest Diagnostics Incorporated as Defendant and Alleges Violation of Antitrust Laws involving Medical Lab Testing

Quest has not yet commented on the lawsuit, which was filed by three individuals who had clinical laboratory tests performed by the nation’s largest public lab company In California last Thursday, three California residents filed a class action lawsuit charging Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX) with acquiring competitor medical labs, paying kickbacks to physicians, and developing exclusionary agreements with health insurers to monopolize the market for clinical laboratory testing in...

To Handle Increased Bad Debt by Patients in High-Deductible Health Plans, Hospitals Are Offering Loan Programs

Even clinical laboratories and pathology groups are reporting increased patient bad debt because more patients have high annual deductibles, often $5,000 or more Hospital executives are anticipating a deluge of new patient debt associated with a dramatic increase in high-deductible health plans. Some hospital systems have even launched loan programs to help patients pay for their share of the cost for care provided and to stem the rising tide of uncollectible patient debt. Patient Bad Debt...
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