Innovations in Clinical Pathology Laboratory Management at the 2011 Executive War College in New Orleans: Day Two

Record crowd of pathologists and medical laboratory managers learned about the latest trends in clinical laboratory management

Dateline: New Orleans, Louisiana—Day two of the 16th annual Executive War College (EWC) gave clinical laboratory managers and pathologists an insider’s view on the “Holy Trinity” of the ObamaCare legislation. The focus was on accountable care organizations (ACO), medical homes, and value-based purchasing.

As happened on day one, yesterday it was a sizable group that included medical technologists (MT), in vitro diagnostics (IVD) manufacturers, pathologists and lab entrepreneurs.

Threat to Clinical Pathology Laboratories is Payer Pre-Authorization of Genetic Tests

Health insurers want to control the rapid growth in expensive genetic and molecular assays

For many clinical laboratories and pathology groups, genetic tests and molecular diagnostic assays are the fastest-growing part of the test menu. This is true both in the increased volume of specimens for genetic tests and the growing number of such medical laboratory tests that are accepted for clinical use.

This is a bright spot for the nation’s clinical pathology laboratories. That’s because many genetic tests and molecular assays deliver significant clinical value to the physician and his or her patient—while generating ample reimbursement for the medical laboratory that performs these tests.


Why Health Insurers Want to Pre-Authorize Genetic and Expensive Clinical Pathology Lab Tests

McKesson Corp. and MuirLab working to implement lab-friendly strategies to meet payer needs

Unfolding events make it likely that genetic testing will become a good news/bad news story for local clinical laboratories and pathology groups. The good news is that genetic tests and molecular assays will bring more diagnostic precision to patients and their physicians—and that points to an auspicious future for pathology and laboratory medicine.

The bad news is that payer requirements in the United States for pre-authorization of genetic tests may lock-out most local laboratories as providers for these specialized and important clinical laboratory tests. That’s the irony of this developing trend!