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 setting innovative strategies that take into account the changes in payment and delivery models.
Hospital Inpatient Admissions Have Been Declining over Recent Years
Modern Healthcare (MH) recently published a story on the declining inpatient admissions trend. The story, written by Rachel Landen, focused on admission rates at thirteen large hospital systems for the third quarter of 2014. These included: (more…)
Nearly 500 healthcare organizations nationwide to participate in payment bundling for 48 Conditions
Medicare’s largest bundled reimbursement project to date is now launching. Clinical laboratory executives and pathologists are watching for clues as to how these bundled payment arrangements will compensate the clinical laboratory testing done on behalf of patients whose care is covered by this latest Medicare initiative.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will commence implementation of Phase 1 of the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative. This will be a three-year project that will test the viability of a universal bundled payment system to improve coordination and quality of care and lower costs. It is also the largest bundled-payment pilot to date, with nearly 500 participants, according to a story published by Healthcare Finance News.
One major goal of this Medicare project is to begin moving providers from the current fee-for-payment model to a single, lump-sum payment model. This would be true for all Medicare Part A and Part B services provided during one episode of care. (more…)
Clinical laboratories and pathology groups may need to re-strategize should hospital inpatient admission rates begin declining as a result of proactive clinical care programs
More hospitals are ramping up their services in proactive outpatient care. The goal is to reduce hospital admissions and curb costs. The challenge is that fewer admissions and shorter stays mean a drop in hospital revenues. For the hospitals’ clinical laboratories, it also means less inpatient lab test volumes.
Hospitals are doing this in response to changes in reimbursement models specifically designed to incentivize providers to keep people out of hospitals. Of all sites that deliver patient care, hospitals account for the greatest share of the nation’s healthcare dollar. This makes them a prime target for cost cutting, noted a recent story in Modern Healthcare (MH).
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.