UM Pathologist Highlights Evolving Role of Clinical Laboratories at National Conference

In an era of integrated care, clinical laboratories need to improve operational performance while creating high-value testing services, according to Richard J. Cote, M.D., professor and Joseph R. Coulter, Jr. Chair of Pathology at the Miller School of Medicine.

“To succeed in the transition from fee-for-service payment to value-based reimbursement, winning labs must provide value-added testing services that the market wants to buy,” said Cote in a high-profile presentation at the 19th annual Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management on April 29-30 in New Orleans. More than 800 clinical lab executives, pathologists and practice administrators attended the national conference on the economics and business landscape in the field of pathology.

Conference host Robert Michel highlighted Cote’s talk, “Positioning Pathology and Clinical Laboratory Services to Add Value in the Era of ACOs and Medical Homes” in the May 19 issue of The Dark Report, a monthly newsletter that provides business intelligence for medical laboratory executives and pathologists.

At the conference, Cote focused on the evolving role of clinical laboratories in an integrated care environment. “Labs serving accountable care organizations (ACOs), medical homes and other integrated clinical organizations can add value by mining lab test data and the clinical information in electronic health records (EHRs) to identify at-risk patients. This allows physicians to intervene in a timely way – a win for the patient, the physician and the payer.”

As healthcare moves from reactive and acute care services to emphasizing proactive care and wellness, clinical laboratory organizations need to demonstrate expertise in helping physicians better utilize lab tests, he added. “Those results can be measured by improved patient outcomes and a smaller spend on lab test dollars associated with specific diagnoses,” Cote said. “In the future, market share will be going to those labs that provide greater value.”

Board-certified in pathology, Cote leads the department at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and UHealth – University of Miami Health System, and is chief of pathology for Jackson Memorial Hospital. He also directs the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute at the University of Miami (BioNIUM). Cote is a nationally recognized expert on nanotechnology and the molecular biology of prostate and bladder cancer.

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