Improve lab efficiency and revenue following a healthcare M&A

by | Apr 3, 2018 | Blog, What's New

For hospital and clinical laboratory leaders, reading news about rising healthcare mergers and acquisitions is one thing.

Actually making a multi-hospital or multi-lab relationship work is another ordeal.

“Health systems are under pressure to ensure they have the right assets in the right place to optimize care,” said Anu Singh, Managing Director at Kaufman Hall, in a Healthcare Dive article.

Merger momentum is expected to continue in 2018 “along the continuum of care including areas such as large physician groups, long-term care, and labs,” Kaufman Hall analysts wrote in the report, “2017 in Review: The Year M&A Shook the Healthcare Landscape.”

Other key findings noted in the Kaufman Hall paper are:

  • Transactions numbered 115 in 2017, about 13% more than the year prior
  • The most mega-deals, 11, took place in 2017, involving sellers with net revenue of $1 billion or more
  • Strategic reasons surpassed financial reasons for deal-making

Regardless of the reason for mergers, Sunquest finds they are not easy on involved labs, which are tasked with quickly realizing and executing a relationship while remaining efficient and productive — and focused on patient safety.

Each lab is unique. When they come together in a health system, labs need to address differences: disparate laboratory information systems, a mix of health information and registration systems, various workflow scenarios and more.

Labs, corralled by healthcare consolidations, also face multiple access points for lab orders, which reinforces the need for clean and complete orders and reimbursement. Over-capacity challenges are possible pursuant to a merger, including load balancing and managing the number of medical technologists.

Healthcare systems, new or not so new, are forming test networks with regional core and stat labs. Labs may be required to send orders to other labs due to payer rules. Also noteworthy is the trend of labs selling or outsourcing business to a larger reference or national lab brand.

Strategies to consolidate systems or labs may sound good in the conference room. In the lab however, there are implications for test routing, system interfacing, interoperability, connectivity, test reporting and record management, among other factors.

How labs can thrive in an environment of consolidation

While pain points need to be identified, a merger is not to be readily admonished. Sunquest has found that labs can do more together and help the bottom line.

How do we know this? Sunquest is the global leader in the laboratory, providing enterprise laboratory information system solutions to more than 1,700 labs. Sunquest specializes in lab technology: from point-of-care and lab outreach to test utilization, clean orders, instrument management, multi-disciplinary lab workflow, results reporting and big data analytics.

Working with healthcare systems, Sunquest solutions enable healthy multi-lab collaborative environments and business growth opportunities regardless of the existing technology brands in the labs and enterprise.

The Sunquest Multi-Lab Networking solution (formerly an Atlas Medical solution) makes it possible for labs to manage multiple ordering and performing locations, share and route tests, optimize unique resources and more.

  • Create a test sharing network - With the Sunquest Multi-Lab Networking solution, lab leaders can agree to share the test load instead of duplicating tests at all hospital system labs. They can also identify a specialty lab (or labs) to address esoteric testing needs of the system.
  • Develop a network for referring and performing labs - A medical lab may have 2,000 referring labs sending orders its way. This solution connects referring customers to the performing lab without disrupting the workflow at the physician office or patient service center.
  • Partner with multiple clinical labs - A clinical lab may leverage the Multi-Lab Networking solution to split orders from various locations as needed, for example between its core lab and anatomic pathology lab partner, or based on payer rules and requirements.
  • Order and route testing - Using the solution’s powerful platform administered with a centralized test catalog, test orders can automatically be routed to specific locations according to real-time factors (such as payer rules, order status such as STAT or ASAP, or rerouting to a performing lab in Florida when a winter storm affects Minnesota).
  • Reduce reference lab costs - By keeping tests in the system network, labs can reduce reference lab costs.

Request more information on Sunquest’s Multi-Lab Networking solution.

About the author

Michelle Del Guercio

Vice President
Product Marketing

Michelle’s passion for healthcare, with specific focus on the laboratory, started with her first job as a specimen courier. Now, as an industry veteran with more than 30 years’ experience, her passion is fueled by providing healthcare organizations with practical and strategic methods in which they can utilize enterprise laboratory solutions to support the success of their organization – and drive towards better patient care.