News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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Vitals Study Shows Consumers Using Cost Transparency Tools Select Clinical Laboratories with Low Test Prices

Researchers find shopping for medical laboratory tests increased by nearly 50%, and people are saving more than a million dollars annually by shopping for blood tests

Each year, more consumers use online healthcare price-shopping tools to find hospitals, physicians, and clinical laboratories that have the lowest prices. And medical laboratory tests is among the top services on their lists!

Researchers at Vitals of Lyndhurst, NJ, a company that publishes online physician ratings, analyzed how consumers were using its price and quality transparency tools. They confirmed that shopping for medical laboratory tests/blood work is one of the top healthcare procedures checked by consumers.

According to a recent Vitals press release, approximately 46% more people shopped for blood tests in 2015 than the year before, and they saved $1,149,682 by doing so. That’s because their health plans reward them for selecting good quality and low-price providers, as well as adopting healthy behaviors, such as losing weight, exercising more, and lowering high cholesterol scores. (more…)

Higher Annual Deductibles and Co-Payments Cause Hospitals to Intensify Efforts to Collect Directly from Patients; Medical Laboratories Now Feel Similar Financial Squeeze

Hospitals and physicians are acting quickly to improve their ability to collect directly from patients as vendors enter market with new collection tools; clinical labs are slower to respond to this fast-moving trend

Collecting deductibles from patients and tackling growing bad debt is quickly becoming a priority at hospitals and health systems around the nation. Clinical laboratories and pathology groups face the same need to become better at collecting money directly from patients at time of service.

By now, it has become clear to most providers that most health insurance plans include requirements that consumers meet a substantial annual deductible—anywhere from $1,500 to as much as $10,000 for a family. Co-payment amounts also have increased significantly, particularly for ancillary services such as medical laboratory tests and imaging studies.

Higher annual deductibles and co-pays are a feature of the new Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum health plans offered through the health insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But this is equally true of many private health insurance plans. (more…)

Hospitals Report Growing Levels of Bad Debt as Many Patients with High-Deductible Plans Are Unable to Pay Their Medical Bills

Pathology groups and clinical laboratories should be taking steps to collect from patients at the point of care, as a key strategy to minimize patient bad debt

Here’s some bad news for hospital Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and an early warning for clinical laboratory administrators. A rising number of patients with high deductible health plans (HDHPs) are unable to pay their medical bills.

Enrollment in HDHPs has soared in recent years because more employers and health insurers have adopted these plans. HDHPs also are called consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) and typically have annual family deductibles of between $5,000 and $10,000. (more…)

More Transparency for Provider Prices and Quality Is Goal of Employers and Private Payers During 2013

Clinical laboratories and pathology groups will soon find it important to make it easier for patients to price for medical laboratory tests

Value-based reimbursement is the new frontier for the American healthcare system. Surveys show that employers and insurers are actively pushing the healthcare marketplace to a value-based, competitive paradigm. This means providers—including pathology groups and clinical laboratories—will be asked to deliver greater transparency in both the price and quality of their clinical services. (more…)