New low-cost alternatives to emergency department and hospital visits could require flexibility from pathology groups and clinical laboratories to provide the best quality care
In response to the rising cost of conventional hospital services, innovative healthcare models such as micro-hospitals, bedless hospitals, and mobile and freestanding emergency rooms (ERs), are attempting to lower costs while maintaining quality of care by providing alternatives to traditional ER visits and hospital stays.
This means new challenges and opportunities for pathology groups and medical laboratories that can adapt to the different needs of these new healthcare delivery models. Each different care model will want clinical lab testing services and the reporting of lab test results to be handled in ways that enable these providers to achieve improved patient outcomes. (more…)
SoloHealth Stations are in 3,200 retail stores nationwide and growing
There’s a hot new consumer health product working its way into pharmacies across the nation. Say goodbye to the ubiquitous self-serve blood pressure stations found next to the pharmacy counter. Say hello to the next generation of consumer self-serve health kiosks.
This trend may open a door for innovative clinical laboratories to add their service offerings to the kiosks in their communities. One example of the fast adoption of these new kiosks is the SoloHealth Station. SoloHealth has already placed its kiosks in 3,200 retail locations nationwide.
Each day, more than 130,000 individuals use them and, on average, each consumer spends 4.5 minutes per session, according to a report issued by Marketwatch.com. (more…)
Price transparency expected to encourage competition among healthcare providers, including medical laboratories
Before consumers visit a clinical laboratory, they can now check the “fair” price of medical laboratory tests. New websites have sprung up that make it easy for consumers to find what experts consider to be fair market prices for each type of lab test, as well as for other medical procedures and healthcare services.
Pathologists should think of the well-known “Kelly Blue Book” that has been the price authority for prices of new and used automobiles for decades. These new medical price websites are easy to use and make it quick for a consumer to find “fair” prices for common clinical laboratory test and medical procedure.
These new web-based companies are organized to serve the needs of consumers who are enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHP). For an individual, an annual deductible can be as high as $2,500—and as much as $5,000 for a family. Thus, clinical laboratory managers should not be surprised that consumers are actively price-shopping before they visit their laboratory to have a specimen collected.