Topics discussed ranged from ongoing cutbacks in funding for healthcare services, and integration of clinical care to growing use of genetic testing in support of precision medicine
DATELINE: Sydney, NSW, Australia—There were 200 leaders in healthcare, medicine, and pathology gathered here last Wednesday to explore a hot topic: the unfolding disruption to healthcare in Australia. The themes of the conference will be familiar to Dark Daily readers across the globe.
These themes included:
• Inadequate funding to pay hospitals, physicians, and medical laboratories, given the steady increase in demand for healthcare services throughout Australia.
• Expanded use of genetic testing and next-generation gene sequencing as medical laboratories acquire the instruments and expertise necessary to make such tests available to physicians.
• How primary care physicians are responding to the demands of an aging population, the increased incidence of chronic disease, and the potential to use information technologies to improve patient care. (more…)
The trend toward alternative payment systems continues as CMS announces the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) model
Efforts by Medicare officials to move providers away from fee-for-service payments and onto other models of reimbursement continue to move forward. This is one of several goals for a new primary care program that Medicare is about to launch in coming months.
Medical laboratories and pathology groups might feel an impact from this new program the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is testing. Announced in April, 2016, the program is called Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+). The CPC+ program is a five-year model that is designed to strengthen primary care, through establishing what are called “medical homes,” where patients experience more coordinated care. (more…)
Utilization management of clinical laboratory testing is a big trend in laboratory medicine at the moment as innovative labs strive to add more value
DATELINE: DENVER, COLORADO—Interest in improving the utilization of clinical laboratory tests is at an all-time high among medical laboratories throughout the United States. Last week a national gathering of pathologists and laboratory professionals gathered in the Mile High City to share success stories and identify the best approaches to helping physicians better utilize lab tests.
This one-day conference on laboratory test utilization was organized by Mayo Medical Laboratories and the Mayo Clinic as part of its 27th Annual Conference on Laboratory Outreach. The keynote speaker was Michael G. Rock, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Mayo Clinic Hospitals/Mayo Foundation and an at-large member of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and its Executive Committee.
Analysis of Key Trends in Healthcare
In recent years, Rock has been involved at the highest levels of healthcare strategy development, both at the Mayo Clinic and with several national hospital associations, including the American Hospital Association. He provided attendees at this conference with a razor-sharp analysis of key trends in healthcare. Rock then identified and explained the essential steps that innovative hospitals and health systems are taking to reshape their organization in order to provide the range of clinical services needed to support integrated healthcare and personalized medicine. (more…)
In response to healthcare’s transformation, a pathologist and a lab CEO describe two powerful ways that medical laboratories can collaborate with physicians, patients, health systems, and health insurers to deliver more value
DATELINE: Phoenix, Arizona—It may be appropriate that, with the pace of change heating up in both healthcare and the clinical laboratory industry, it was here in the hot Sonoran Desert that more than 500 medical laboratory professionals gathered last week for the annual Sunquest User Group Conference (SUG) hosted by Sunquest Information Systems. (more…)
Innovative medical laboratories shared their successes in improving lab test utilization that included physician engagement and close monitoring of key metrics
DATELINE: ORLANDO, FLORIDA—One big challenge facing medical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups in the United States today is the need to transition from a transaction-based business model (increasing specimen volume leads to increasing revenue) to a value-based business model (helping providers improve their use of clinical laboratory tests in ways that measurably improve patient outcomes while controlling or reducing the cost of care.)
Two trends reinforce the need for clinical laboratories to craft strategies to develop new ways to add value to lab testing services.
One trend is the move by Medicare and private health insurers to shift reimbursement for providers away from fee-for-service and toward bundled reimbursement and budgeted reimbursement.
The second trend is the emergence of integrated clinical care organizations. The most visible of these are accountable care organizations (ACO) and patient-centered medical homes (PCMH). What these care delivery organizations have in common is that they require hospitals, physicians, clinical laboratories, imaging centers, nursing homes and other types of providers to work together more effectively so that patients receive healthcare in a seamless fashion because there is a continuum: primary care to specialty care to acute care and back again. (more…)