Even Medicare Advisors Recognize the Trend to Treat Patients in Settings Other than Hospitals with New Recommendations to Congress

Shifts to new types of facilities where patients are treated provide clinical laboratories and pathology groups with new opportunities to add value to providers and patients Two important trends have serious implications for the nation’s traditional hospitals. One is the ongoing shift of patient care from inpatient settings to outpatient providers. The other trend is to proactively manage patients so as to avoid the need for hospitalization. Both trends create challenges and opportunities for...

More Hospital Closed Due to Empty Beds as Providers Succeed in Reducing Hospital Admissions: Pathologists Should Respond with Outpatient/Outreach Services

With patient care shifting to outpatient clinics and home-based medical care, clinical laboratory managers should beef up outreach lab testing services Declining patient volume is shuttering hospitals across the United States as hospitals lose patients to ambulatory care centers and home-based medical care. This trend directly impacts the pathologists and medical technologists who work in the clinical laboratories of these hospitals. Empty Beds Indicator of Failing Hospitals Most pathologists...

As Medical Laboratory Test Utilization Grows, Health Insurers Develop Programs to Manage Rising Costs

After seeing a rise in the volume of clinical lab tests physicians order, managed care plans are develop a variety of strategies to manage utilization and costs Health insurers are taking more aggressive actions to control the cost of clinical laboratory testing. For many years, clinical laboratories and pathology groups have been concerned about the strategies used by Medicare to control the utilization and costs of medical laboratory tests. Private health insurers usually follow the actions...

Why Congress Is Considering Deep Cuts to Medical Laboratory Test Fees

Nation’s clinical laboratories may see significant reductions in federal funding for medical laboratory tests in the 2012 federal budget Unprecedented cuts in funding for clinical laboratory services are expected from Congress in coming months. That’s because federal legislators need deep cuts from many sources to cope with the current budget crisis. It is also why some Beltway insiders predict that fees for medical laboratory testing will be substantially reduced. Although many lab industry...

CMS Proposes Preauthorization Imaging Services, a Dangerous Precedent for Laboratory Testing

MedPAC recommendation targets high-cost imaging done in physician’s offices Following the lead of some private insurers, Medicare may soon require preauthorization for high-cost imaging tests—including CT, MRI and PET scans—done in physician offices. This is one of two strategies aimed at reducing payments for Part B physician radiology services that was recommended by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) in its report to Congress in March. The General Accounting Office (GAO)...
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