By Lizzie Mooney

According to recent reports, a handful of huge laboratory conglomerates are scooping up healthcare lab outreach businesses and smaller lab operations. In the first 3 months of 2017 alone, over 18 health systems and clinical laboratories have announced transactions or joint-venture partnerships.

Researchers at The Dark Report state that one of the most common reasons for a hospital to sell off its laboratory outreach arm was to turn that asset into cash. With other aspects of healthcare operations plunging many organizations into the red, selling off lab entities is seen as a quick and easy way to recapture revenue.

A slew of issues, from huge EHR implementation budgets to decreased operating margins to disappearing reimbursements, are plaguing leading health systems, leading them to look for ways to protect and grow revenue -- without selling off assets. So how can hospitals and health systems combat these issues internally?

Streamline Workflows To Cut Costs

When data and workflows are siloed within individual departments or disciplines, progress can often seem halted and stilted. Transparency is the key to uncovering trends and challenges across an organization.

Streamlining workflows can help healthcare organizations to:

  • Integrate various data sources into a single HIPAA-compliant location
  • Automate and streamline everyday processes for maximum internal efficiency
  • Visualize where operational breakdowns are occurring in real-time to identify root causes and proactively follow up on issues

Automate Quality Checks & Utilization Management

Quality checks are a reality of all healthcare organizations and clinical labs. These checks can often result in huge fines -- and that’s after the hours of manual work that goes into collecting and aggregating quality data. With innovative healthcare technology solutions, these quality metrics are automatically collected and displayed in live dashboards and reports. Quality managers can have these metrics on hand at all times to remain 100% quality inspection ready.

Additionally, utilization management is another way hospital labs can bleed money. Over-utilized, under-utilized, antiquated, and unreimbursed tests can all add up and present major roadblocks for organizations. Automation can check these tests in real-time to identify where revenue opportunities lie. Organizations can then use this data to help educate physicians on ordering best practices.

Leverage Real-Time Data To Increase Reimbursements

2017 has truly become a year of steadily declining reimbursement rates. If a lab knows a test isn’t going to be reimbursed, why would they even run or order it? Real-time data throws reimbursement trends into the spotlight to help labs communicate directly with physicians and payors for maximum impact -- and to maximize reimbursements.

 


 

Learn more about how hospital labs can recapture revenue and survive the acquisition-heavy healthcare marketplace here

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