Value-based medicine is here, and the laboratory is an essential player in driving quality and cost-effectiveness throughout the continuum of care. Leveraging the Laboratory will bring together the laboratory outreach community to discuss the current state and where we will need to be in the coming years. Follow this blog and #2015Leveraging on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for live updates.
Sept. 24 at 6:06 p.m.
Well, that's it in Denver. The 2015 edition of Leveraging the Laboratory has wrapped up and our attendees are on their way home or enjoying one more night in Denver. There were three presentations this afternoon focusing on specific aspect of the outreach laboratory business.
- Tailoring Facts and Figures for the C-Suite: In the first presentation of the afternoon, Mayo Medical Laboratories' Manager of Outreach Services Tammy Fletcher. Her presentation offered attendees a crash course on what is on the mind of health care leaders, their perception of the laboratory, and the key metrics laboratories must master to have impactful conversations with their organization's leaders.
- Organization Structure: Separate tax ID, separate entity: Christie Lohkamp, J.D., of Mayo Clinic, and Mike Snyder, of Avalon Health Solutions, discussed the delicate aspects of tax law that impact outreach laboratories. The panel outlined opportunities and potential pitfalls of various approaches.
- Networks: The conference came to a crescendo with a detailed presentation about the role of laboratory networks and how they will be a vital tool for laboratories and health care organization to meet the economics of value-based payments and payer relationships.
Sept. 24 at 1:24 p.m.
Andy Tofilon entertained and educated the crowd with his presentation entitled, “Marketing Your Lab with Social Media.” Mr. Tofilon, Marketing Administrator with Mayo Medical Laboratories, showed engaging videos, shared how Mayo Medical Laboratories uses its blog to provide content to clients and patients, and explained how to curate valuable content and use it over several social media platforms for the best bang for your buck.
Sept. 24 at 1:03 p.m.
Getting paid for the outreach laboratory testing you perform. This is fundamental to successful community-based laboratories. But outreach billing is complicated. On Thursday morning, Vicki McClain of Huntsville Hospital Laboratory in Alabama navigated attendees through the important nuances of laboratory billing.
Throughout her talk, Ms. McClain outlined key terms, principles, acronyms (imagine that!), and Huntsville's approach to improving billing processes and, as a result, patient satisfaction. According to McClain, the key to Huntsville's success was listening to the concerns of the billing and medical records departments and patients. She capped off her presentation with the advice, "Don't Let the 'Perfect' Stand in the Way of the Possible!"
Sept. 24 at 11:25 a.m.
The next presentation offered a success story of how MedLabs of UnityPoint Health Cedar Rapids (Iowa) implemented a strategy to bring together providers. MedLabs is comprised of nine laboratories and patient service centers. The presentation was delivered by MedLabs Administrative Director Julie Behr and Outreach Manager Jennifer Metzen.
As a result of a Mayo Medical Laboratories program assessment, MedLabs was able to establish a clear analysis of its local laboratory market and opportunities for growth. Some of the big components that were identified as necessities for success were connectivity solutions, improvements to customer service activities, and community awareness.
Sept. 24 at 9:19 a.m.
Leveraging the Laboratory is back at it this morning. First up, Dan Nelson of Atlas Development Corporation and Toni Burger of Cayuga Medical Center Laboratory tackled one of the biggest challenges facing laboratories: must-have capabilities and information technology solutions to succeed in the value-based environment.
First, Mr. Nelson outlined four must-have capabilities for success: 1. Apply solutions to service the full catchment area of your community, 2. Implement strategies to aggregate data of covered lives to leverage payer contracts, 3. Deploy systems that can facilitate alignment and consolidation across health systems, and 4. Ensure laboratories are complementing high-quality and cost-effective care.
The principles and strategies outlined by Nelson were followed by a real-world success story from Cayuga Medical Center Laboratory. In Ms. Burger’s section of the presentation, she laid out the Cayuga story, market profile, and how this organization is leveraging IT solutions to bring together physician offices, nursing homes, hospital-owned practices, affiliated laboratories, and other health care providers.
Sept. 24 at 8:22 a.m.
One of the final presentations of the day came from Robert Michel, Editor in Chief of The Dark Report, a business intelligence service for pathologists and laboratory personnel. His presentation was entitled, “Why Health Care’s Evolution Creates Opportunity to Redefine the Value of Clinical Labs.” Michel explained to the group that there are four main sources of change within laboratory medicine: 1. Reimbursement, 2. Disruption in physician practice models, 3. Era of personalized and proactive medicine informed by genetics, and 4. Adoption of a quality management system by laboratories and providers.
“The fee-for-service reimbursement model is on its way out,” Michel said. “We can all expect to see bundled payments, capitation, and pay for performance in the very near future.”
The impact of these alternative payment models is “huge” for laboratories, said Michel. As fee-for-service disappears, laboratories will be paid according to how they add value to physicians and help improve patient outcomes. Personalized medicine and advanced health care tools will also affect labs as patients actively manage their own chronic illnesses—away from the hospital.
Michel also discussed trends with anatomic pathology, histology, microbiology, and clinical laboratories. Smaller pathology groups are struggling financially as they lack the capital to acquire new instruments, add new tests, and recruit sub-specialty expertise. He explained that clinical labs can follow a four-step roadmap to respond to the health care transformation: 1. Achieve normalcy and predictability, 2. Establish and meet standards of value, 3. Deliver value that exceeds expectations, and 4. Use benchmarks to achieve best-in-class service.
Michel ended his presentation with some facts, figures, and “unknowns” about Theranos, its CEO Elizabeth Holmes, and its business model. “There are 320 million Americans who continue to need clinical lab tests and anatomic pathology services,” said Michel. “You need to be one of the labs that does this work by staying ahead of the trends and by delivering clinical value.”
Sept. 23 at 2:40 p.m.
Will Sistrunk, M.D., and Eric Eoloff, both of Mercy Laboratory, spoke to attendees about, “The Role Laboratory Dashboard Software Plays in Growing Your Outreach Business.” Mercy Health is the fifth largest Catholic health system in the U.S., encompassing a seven-state area (Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas). The duo talked about how the Mercy Health team created a world-class laboratory using common software to measure turnaround times, operating costs, staff turnover, and quality metrics. The group is now developing a protocol for when point-of-care testing is appropriate in the emergency department and when the main laboratory should be used. “Transparency of our TAT performance with customers gives them confidence in using our lab or staying with us in a very competitive environment,” said Eoloff.
Sept. 23 at 2:04 p.m.
This afternoon, Bob Stallone, Vice President of Laboratories at North Shore LIJ Health System, presented, “Readying for the Value-Based Transition from an Outreach Point of View.” Mr. Stallone provided a high-level overview of the many challenges laboratories face today, and he also discussed the many opportunities they have to position themselves for a bright future. He explained the value of the laboratory and how it can improve patient experience, improve population health, and reduce costs. Stallone told attendees about North Shore LIJ’s core laboratory model and its coordinated lab outreach.
“The only successful strategies that will significantly impact the cost and outcomes of health care must be focused upon changing the behavior of physicians and patients,” he said.
Sept. 23 at 1:03 p.m.
Into the minds of payers. That is where presenters Greg Warren and Matthew Nieszel, both of Optum Labs, took the attendees during the final presentation of the morning. The tandem spent its time highlighting emerging risk-sharing concepts, approaches share modeling, and advice on how to approach implementation.
Sept. 23 at 11:30 a.m.
This year, we are proud to have 11 vendors exhibiting as part of our Leveraging the Laboratory Conference. Vendors this year include BOSTONtec, Inc.; CareEvolve; Halfpenny Technologies; Kellison & Company; Lifepoint Informatics; MayoCONNECT/Atlas Medical; McKesson; Quadax, Inc.; SCC Soft Computer; Telcor; and XIFIN, Inc.
Sept. 23 at 9:54 a.m.
Following Dr. Rock's remarks, Curt Hanson, M.D., chief medical officer of Mayo Medical Laboratories, offered the "Pathologist Perspective." He spoke about laboratory-specific perspectives, including the latest Second Curve research, best practices in utilization management, and the tumultuous regulatory and industry environments.
Sept. 23 at 9:21 a.m.
To set the stage for the forthcoming presentations and conversations, we invited Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon Michael Rock, M.D., to offer his perspective of and predictions for health care reform. His one-hour session outlined the effects of the Affordable Care Act, payment reform trends, the entrance of non-traditional players such as CVS Health and Walmart into the primary care field, the role of technologic advances and disruptions, and strategies health care organizations can apply to succeed in a value-based world.
Sept. 23 at 8:35 a.m.
Sept. 23 at 8:01 a.m.
A standing-room only crowd is assembling in Denver for the two-day Leveraging the Laboratory Conference. There are attendees from 31 states and more than 20 course faculty who will present on a full spectrum of perspectives ranging from the view of a pathologies, physician leaders, community-based laboratory management, and industry icons. Stay tuned!