By: Tim Kuruvilla
It is widely accepted that up to 70 percent of clinical decisions are based on results of lab tests. Yet medical laboratories account for a relatively small fraction of healthcare costs. This incongruity raises an important question for healthcare organizations: How can the financial value of labs be made more commensurate with their clinical value?
One area in which the financial performance of the lab may be improved is the revenue cycle. Healthcare executives naturally prioritize high-dollar areas when they tackle revenue cycle improvements, so they tend to overlook the billing and collections operation of a low-dollar space such as the lab. Considering the massive volume of lab tests today, coupled with the likelihood of high-dollar genomics tests around the corner, this approach could end up leaving revenue on the table. CFOs should find ways to use business intelligence to improve the revenue cycle performance of their organizations’ lab operations—and lay the groundwork for optimal management when sophisticated, expensive molecular tests become routine.