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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Ratings Agencies Go Negative on Not-for-Profit Hospitals for 2014; Their Projections Signal Fewer Resources for Hospital-based Clinical Laboratories

This hospital industry sector is expected to achieve lower growth rates and less revenue and are likely to reduce operating budgets for medical laboratories

Tough financial times are ahead for not-for-profit hospitals, according to the projections of multiple rating agencies. Financial analysts attribute this to an extended period of massive and disruptive change. This is not good news for hospital-based clinical laboratory managers and pathology groups.

Big Three credit-rating agencies Moody’s Investors Service (NYSE: MCO), Fitch Ratings, and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (S&P) echoed a common theme in their 2014 outlooks for not-for-profit hospitals, which represent 60% of the nation’s hospitals. Environmental pressures will suppress revenue growth, while fresh cost-cutting measures will become increasingly harder to find. (more…)

Health Insurers Spending Big Dollars to Be Players in ‘Big Data’; Trend has Implications for Clinical Pathology Laboratories

With healthcare reform likely to limit their growth, health insurers are expanding into data management to create new revenue streams

Faced with swift changes in healthcare, many of which are not favorable to the traditional business model of private health insurers, the nation’s largest payers are positioning themselves to be major players in the management of “big data.” That may have interesting implications for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups, which typically generate large quantities of medical laboratory test data.


Pioneering Oncology Group Earns Recognition as a Medical Home

Pathologists may be asked to do more consults by oncologists practicing in a medical home

Recently a pioneering oncology practice in Philadelphia was recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a medical home practice. Though the NCQA medical home program focuses on primary care, a few specialty practices have gained medical home recognition.

This is a milestone on the road to expanded use of the medical home care model. It is also an early warning to pathologists and clinical laboratory managers that other medical specialties may take steps to implement a medical home practice. It is believed that physicians practicing in this care model are likely to be more careful users of medical laboratory tests.


Pathologists Are Included in the Updated CMS “Physician Compare” Website

Medicare officials continue to work toward improved transparency in provider outcomes

Medicare officials are making progress in their efforts to help patients “shop” for doctors, including pathologists. It has gone live with a new website called “Physician Compare.” This website offers many search functions not previously available.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) put up the new website to fulfill one mandate of the healthcare reform law, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010. CMS expanded the information available to healthcare consumers on its online physician directory tool. (more…)

Oregon Publishes Its First Statewide Report on Hospital Infection Rates to Help Consumers

Role of Clinical Pathology Laboratories in Hospitals may be Boosted by New Public Report

Transparency in provider outcomes took another step forward recently as the State of Oregon published its first report of hospital-acquired infections covering the year 2009. Because pathologists and clinical laboratory administrators are likely to eventually see similar public reporting in their states, this development has nationwide implications.

The report was compiled and released by the Office of Oregon Health Policy Research (OHPR). It compares healthcare-acquired infection (HAI) rates at 58 hospitals and health facilities across the state.