Laboratory Economics Survey Highlights Increase in Industry Concern around Pathology Reimbursement
By Steve MacCrea, Director of Account Management
A recent study by Laboratory Economics (LE) –an independent research and analysis firm focusing on pathology and the laboratory services industry– shows that 82.4% of labs and pathologists cite declining reimbursement as one of the industry’s biggest challenges.
During the month of July, LE disseminated it’s Anatomic Pathology & Clinical Lab Trends Surveys (July 2019; n=116) to gain deeper insight into the industry trends and challenges currently impacting anatomic pathology and clinical labs.
A total of 116 pathology groups, independent labs and hospitals participated in LE’s survey. When asked “What are the biggest challenges that labs and pathology groups will face in the next 5 years?” following declining reimbursement, the next most frequently cited challenge was “exclusion from managed care contracts” at 47.3%. The third highest ranked challenge cited was “competition from large commercial labs” at 42.1%.
28% of respondents cited “technical staff shortages” and “prior authorization requirements” as an anticipated challenge. 24.5% cited “specialty physician groups insourcing pathology,” 14% cited “increased information technology expenses” and “difficulty/expense of adding new molecular diagnostics,” and 10.5% of the survey respondents cited “pathologist shortages/retiring pathologists” as an ongoing challenge.
9% of participants cited “other” challenges, including increasing employee health benefit costs, physician purchases by hospitals, difficulty correcting payer claims processing errors and rising pathologist salaries.
The report also details responses regarding test volume growth rate for Anatomic Pathology, clinical lab, and Pap testing over the past year. See the full survey analysis in the July 2019 issue of Laboratory Economics.
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Source: Klipp, J. D. (2019, July). LE Survey Points to Continued Concern Over Reimbursement. Laboratory Economics, Volume 14 (No. 7), pp. 5-6; LE’s Anatomic Pathology & Clinical Lab Trends Surveys, July 2019 (July 2019; n=116);