At the 2018 American Association for Clinical Chemistry annual meeting in Chicago, Mayo Clinic experts discussed how laboratories can stay viable and competitive under the reimbursement model. According to them, laboratories that will stay afloat are operationally efficient, simultaneously reducing costs and maximizing workflows.
Mike Baisch, a principal systems engineer at Mayo Clinic, presented, “Examining High Level Test Cost Structures to Determine Viability.” He provided the audience with a systematic method to calculate the cost of all testing components and to identify how well these costs fit in the context of expected reimbursement.
Baisch stressed the importance of considering patient care comprehensively when assessing laboratory expenses. “The needs of the patient comes first. Regardless of the test having a positive or negative margin, medical need should outweigh financial performance,” he said.
Matthew Clark, an operation and process improvement leader at Mayo Clinic, presented, “Identifying Specific Cost Savings to Improve Viability.” His talk highlighted strategies to bring costs back into alignment.
According to Clark, “Once you identify your test cost, the place to start is identifying opportunities for cost reduction.” When determining what to focus on, Clark said that quite often, people mistakenly pick the test losing revenue when priority should be placed on savings opportunities even on a test making money. Tests that offer savings opportunities may offset losses from non-profitable tests absolutely needed for patient care.