The laboratory contributes to the health care system’s success through effective integration of testing from the community. The outreach program must have the proper focus, structure, and resources, and it must continually improve. Learn how to leverage your laboratory’s true value from industry experts. Follow this blog and #Leveraging2017 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for live updates.
Sept. 12 at 4 p.m.
Shirley Roque, Outreach Program Advisor, recaps day 2 of Leveraging the Laboratory
The second day of the 2017 Leveraging the Laboratory conference in Philadelphia, PA, was comprised of smaller, hour-long breakout sessions throughout the day with the attendees having three choices of different speakers and topics per hour. A few of the sessions are described below:
1. Legal Updates were presented by Sharon Zehe, J.D., attorney, Mayo Medical Laboratories. Sharon covered topics on regulating LDTs in relation to the FDA discussion paper and the Diagnostic Accuracy & Innovation Act (DAIA), updates on the FDA-CMS task force, PAMA, privacy within precision medicine and genetic data, informed consent, discrimination, and the potential impacts of variants of unknown significance, along with the potential timeline for implementation of some of the components. Regarding the PAMA update, there has so far been no delay for the implementation set for January 1, 2018.
2. Lynn Bryan, B. Sc (Hons), Manager of Laboratory Business Systems and Outreach, University of Vermont Medical Center, and Network Manager for the North Eastern Community Laboratory Alliance, expertly presented on “Identifying Laboratory Costs”. Lynn started her talk with discussion on the value of the lab and lab tests. The lab is a revenue center, not a cost center, and produces diagnostic data not just test results. The worth of a lab test was described in many different ways: information, diagnosis, peace of mind, $40, my job, a patient’s life, and not having to transfer patients to another facility. Lynn shared that it is very important to understand the lab cost per test in order to set accurate pricing, understand your margin, perform a make vs buy analysis, and comply with the regulations on inducement. Lynn’s goal for test pricing is to maximize facility reimbursement and minimize patient out-of-pocket cost. Lynn shared a very detailed cost accounting template that she uses for compiling reagent & labor cost, loaded cost, and fully loaded cost per test.
3. Charlene H. Harris, FACHE, MT(ASCP), Administrative Director, Kingman Regional Medical Center (KRMC), shared her experience and expertise with insurance contracting during her “Slaying the Outreach Dragon” presentation. Charlene got to know her audience initially with questions on: where people were from, bed size of their facility, and departments they work. The Kingman story started with understanding that KRMC has a payor mix of 80% governmental payors, is located in northwest AZ, and is the only non-profit hospital in the very large Mohave County. It is a multi-campus health system and the largest employer in the county with >1800 employees. In May 2017, the laboratory was tipped off by a loyal KRMC physician that there was a letter circulating to all providers in the area that their patients could no longer use the hospital for outpatient services if they had Medicaid (Health Choice) insurance. Charlene and the hospital administration jumped into action and were able to quickly gather the KRMC payor history and necessary laboratory financial data from the hospital systems to understand the impact to the hospital if this were to move forward. Through the great relationships with their providers, the responsiveness of the patient financial services staff, the support of the hospital administration all the way up to the CEO, the expertise of the managed care negotiator, and the fantastic communication network throughout the hospital and providers, KRMC was able to reverse this “carve out” and the insurance company rescinded their statement to providers. KRMC can continue to take care of the patients in their communities! Moral of the story: The laboratory must get the know the C-suite by first name and establish/maintain great relationships with providers in order to be a formidable combat force against the payor challenges that arise and provide excellent service to all patients.
4. The concept of “Critical Thinking” was presented by Jeffry M. Harden, Ph. D., Program Manager, Staff Development, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic. Jeff explained that critical thinking is purposeful and reflective judgement and is a process by which we can effectively expand our knowledge about the world around us, learn about ourselves, and solve problems by identifying the best possible outcome. Critical thinking incorporates assumptions/biases we have, synthesizes information through thoughtful discernment, and explores implications and views from other perspectives. A critical thinker has a sense of curiosity, admits a lack of understanding or information, adjusts opinions when new facts are found, is interested in finding new solutions, listens carefully to others, and gives feedback/asks pertinent questions. Critical thinking is thinking with a purpose.
5. Laboratory Outreach Best Practices round table discussion was facilitated byShirley Roque, MT(ASCP), Mayo Medical Laboratories Outreach Program Advisor. The session contained many lively conversations on multiple topics. It was a great venue for sharing of current status and experiences amongst the attendees. Topics were varied and many: customer satisfaction, relationships, communication, listening, service recovery, value, metrics/key performance indicators, fee schedules, billing forms, separate tax ID, supplies given to customers, and components of successful outreach businesses. With each topic there was a undertone of value...how can this help promote the value of the laboratory? Even with the impressive work being performed on a daily basis within the hospital laboratories around the country there is an urgent need to effectively promote the laboratory as having both technical knowledge excellence and superior customer service to care for and support the needs of patients, providers, other hospital departments, and the community.
Overall, the laboratory must spotlight itself and get the word out in multiple different formats to both internal and external stakeholders to prove their revenue-generating capabilities and massive importance within the care continuum to improve patient experience, partner with providers and administration to improve population health, and decrease the total cost of care.
Sept. 12 at 3:30 p.m.
Leveraging 2017: Sue Cloutier and Julie Bicknese
Sue Cloutier, Operations Manager, and Julie Bicknese, Supervisor, at Mayo Clinic, talk about their breakout session on leveraging customer service at Leveraging the Laboratory 2017 in Philadelphia.
Sept. 12 at 2 p.m.
Day 2: Breakout Sessions Continued
Our breakout sessions continue throughout the afternoon with presentations from Julie Bicknese and Sue Cloutier; Ellen Dijkman Dulkes, M.S., MT(ASCP); and Jeffry Harden:
Sept. 12 at Noon
Leveraging 2017: Sharon Zehe, J.D.
Sharon Zehe, J.D., Legal Counsel at Mayo Clinic, talks about her upcoming breakout session on "Legal Updates" at Leveraging the Laboratory 2017 in Philadelphia.
Sept. 12 at 10:30 a.m.
Day 2: Breakout Sessions
Day 2 is all about the breakout sessions. This morning, attendees had the pleasure of hearing from the following speakers:
Sept. 12 at 8:30 a.m.
Leveraging 2017: Mike Baisch
Mike Baisch, Principal Systems Engineer at Mayo Clinic, talks about his breakout session on "staffing to workload" at Leveraging the Laboratory 2017 in Philadelphia.
Sept. 11 at 4:00 p.m.
Leveraging 2017: Day 1 Speakers
Our afternoon at Leveraging was a busy one. We had a variety of speakers, including Marnie de Mooij; Carlos Alberto; Bobbi Kochevar, M.B.A., MLS(ASCP); and Nick Mezecapa. Attendees also got to check out some of the awesome exhibits.
Sept. 11 at 10:50 a.m.
Leveraging 2017: Day 1
Leveraging the Laboratory got off to a great start in Philadelphia. We've had a busy morning with speakers, including Robert Stallone, Lois VanEnk, and Steve Finch. Check out the photos:
Sept. 11 at 10 a.m.
Steele Faust, Senior Director of Sales and Services at Mayo Medical Laboratories, joined three health care leaders to present, "How to Protect Your Laboratory from Being Acquired by the Commercial Labs,” at a special event on Sunday night.
Sept. 11 at 8:06 a.m.
Leveraging 2017: Jane Hermansen
Jane Hermansen, Network Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories, talks about the Leveraging the Laboratory conference in Philadelphia.