Sunquest helps labs respond to healthcare market forces and lab challenges
Your clinical laboratory may struggle with lower test volume and reimbursements due to value-based care and other healthcare reform initiatives, facing stiff diagnostic price cuts this year. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing payment cuts to 75% of all lab tests on the clinical laboratory fee schedule in 2018, according to Clinical Laboratory News. More than half of the cuts are so large that CMS is phasing in the reductions over three years due to the limits of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA).
During a recent HealthLeaders sponsored webinar, “The Strategic Impact of Laboratory Services in a Value-Based Environment,” pathology and lab-informatics experts advised lab leaders to adopt strategic responses as healthcare transitions and government regulations take hold.
“I don’t think any lab can survive in a pure cost-per-test world. You are going to have to move to a cost per diagnosis, a cost per episode of care or a cost per covered life. And laboratorians are not really great at working at that value-based purchasing nomenclature,” said panelist Michael Crossey, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer and Interim CEO, TriCore Reference Laboratories.
Labs are also affected by a healthcare system’s culture, according to panelist Bruce Friedman, MD, Emeritus Professor of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School and President of Pathology Education Consortium. “Some do not view lab testing as strategic and view it as a distraction from the primary mission of direct care to patients. Others may have one hospital in the group as a center for excellence for molecular testing and esoteric testing, so they view testing as strategic.”
Indeed, precision medicine may enable physicians to make highly specific diagnoses for patients to participate in extremely targeted treatments. To make it all happen, labs need to offer highly focused diagnostics and actionable reporting to specialists, many of whom are already overwhelmed with data.
“If you are going to do molecular testing, you had better have the wherewithal to put out a cogent and integrated report,” Dr. Crossey highlighted.
Appropriate test utilization and the need for preauthorization are also imperative. Michael Vigoda, MD, webinar panelist and previous Chief Medical Information Officer at Bon Secours Health System, urged caution when outsourcing molecular tests. “The test, when outsourced, is going to be done regardless of its value. And we may get a bill for a test that did not contribute to the patient’s care,” he said.
Amid these healthcare dynamics and so many others, the value of Sunquest is clear.
Sunquest laboratory informatics solutions, chosen by more than 1,700 labs worldwide, give healthcare labs opportunities not just to respond to healthcare market forces but also to leverage them strategically.
Focusing only on healthcare labs, Sunquest offers single-site and multi-site hospitals and labs extremely sophisticated and powerful laboratory informatics solutions across:
- Laboratory and pathology
- Orders, results and specimen coordination
- Interoperability and connectivity
- Molecular informatics
Even when integrated with other previously deployed enterprise suppliers and lab-technology vendors, Sunquest enterprise laboratory information solutions empower laboratories to:
1. Ensure your lab’s operational and financial health, while supporting patient health
A clinical laboratory is a big business, spanning from point-of-care and outreach settings to instrument automation and test management and reporting. With 40 years of expertise, With decades of experience working with our customers, we have a solid understanding of the laboratory. Sunquest customers are empowered with laboratory informatics software to capture clean and complete test orders, streamline multi-disciplinary workflows, deliver clear and compelling reports to ordering providers, and optimize test utilization. Of course, better lab management means a better bottom line and improved patient care, even as industry transformation and regulations threaten labs.
2. Strengthen lab networks
Our interoperability and platform solutions enable laboratories in various or multiple locations to optimize complex orders and test performance. Such lab networks share and route tests based on payer rules or diagnostic instruments, perform tests previously outsourced (saving millions of dollars in some cases) and more. As healthcare consolidations continue, labs in a network can leverage laboratory informatics to orchestrate a collaborative and impactful multi-lab environment.
3. Add new services and enter new markets with molecular informatics
Molecular testing is becoming part of the standard of care. Can a lab take the plunge? Labs adding molecular tests to their menus turn to Sunquest laboratory informatics solutions, including molecular informatics and genetic analysis, help deliver services in molecular diagnostics and precision medicine. These solutions help labs produce efficient and exacting variant analysis and interpretation that specialist healthcare providers can understand and act upon, ultimately giving patients plans for better health.
A partnership with Sunquest is ideal for forward-looking health systems and clinical laboratories that value optimal safety, accuracy, efficiency and collaborative care. With a vendor-agnostic approach to interoperability and connectivity, Sunquest has broken the mold in lab technology, and has transformed from a laboratory information system vendor into an enterprise laboratory information solutions provider — combining the lab’s business with its sophisticated multi-disciplinary workflows.
Contact us to learn more.
About the author
Sr. Vice President, Product Development
Manish brings more than 20 years of experience in technology leadership, management, innovation, and the delivery of mission-critical, enterprise-class products and platforms.