According to a recent article in Clinical Laboratory News, in addition to providing test results, clinical laboratories must show how they contribute to improved clinical outcomes while helping payers hold down costs.
Mayo Medical Laboratories (MML) is doing this through data analytics with a partnership formed in 2013 with UnitedHealth Group. MML and UnitedHealth Group launched Optum Labs, an open, collaborative research and development facility.
“We have 150 million de-identified lives in the database,” explained Don Flott, director of utilization and integration services for MML. “We do validation studies on algorithms, which enables us to determine whether a particular treatment is better, the same, or worse than others. This allows us to go to a provider organization or a payer and say, ‘Look, if folks were following this algorithmic approach for the workup of bone marrow—where often, more cytogenetic or FISH testing is ordered than is necessary—you would see savings on population as well as per member per month.’”
By using precise protocols for test ordering, MML is also working on the inpatient side to drive down tests per discharge and can reduce unnecessary test ordering by up to 40 percent.
“Alternative payment systems are already here, so the question is whether the laboratory is going to be part of the solution to help bend the cost curve or if it is going to be left out. The laboratory has to help drive waste out of the system,” added Flott.
Read the full article to learn how other laboratories are improving clinical outcomes.