Diagnostics Data Analytics Inform Treatment, Utilization, Safety & Quality
Attention to laboratory-related data and analytics is “surging” in light of the health care industry’s quest to cut costs and improve quality, according to a new Cain Brothers’ report, “Strategies for Healthcare Leaders: 2016 Healthcare Industry Outlook.” “We note an increasing focus on value of lab, including expanding use of information it generates and the […]
Attention to laboratory-related data and analytics is “surging” in light of the health care industry’s quest to cut costs and improve quality, according to a new Cain Brothers’ report, “Strategies for Healthcare Leaders: 2016 Healthcare Industry Outlook.”
“We note an increasing focus on value of lab, including expanding use of information it generates and the potential leverage oered by its positioning along the continuum of care,” Cain Brothers’ authors write.
Lab data behind consolidations
This finding should come as no surprise to pathologists and laboratory executives, who know so well that lab data make up more than 70% of a clinical record. Now this data gold mine, which some industry experts have long considered untapped, is at the center of mega industry agreements.
Cain Brothers, an investment banking firm focusing on health care, named in its report transactions such as LabCorp-Covance, Roche-Foundation Health, and OPKO-BioReference as examples of transactions that appear to move labs beyond traditional diagnostic testing. Quest Diagnostics has also expanded to oer analytics and data services to hospitals, physicians, health plans, and others seeking to integrate and aggregate data.
Data to enlighten therapies
For example, Medivo, a health care data analytics company, and Quest announced in November their intention to use laboratory data to educate physicians about new drug therapies that could improve patient outcomes.
Their plan is for Quest to provide clinical and bioinformatics expertise as well as analysis of its de-identified lab data to Medivo. Then, Medivo will use the information, along with other datasets, to identify physicians with patients who may benefit from FDA-approved drugs, according to a Medivo statement.
Quest reportedly has more than 20 billion lab test results in its database. Conditions include diabetes, cholesterol, oncology, pregnancy, and others. “The addition of Quest’s data to Medivo’s analytics solutions will greatly improve the ability to focus outreach programs to help patents gain access to therapies,” said Harvey Kaufman, M.D., senior medical director, Quest, in a statement.
“Through this relationship, Quest and Medivo will enhance the ability of lab data to inform physicians and improve the odds that patients can access the treatments that will help them,” added Sundeep Bhan, CEO, Medivo.
Real-time insight on quality, utilization, finance
Also, Quest, with Inovalon (an analytics software provider), recently launched a Data Diagnostics service to oer real time patient-specific reports. Providers can order the reports individually at point-of-care to help them identify and address gaps in quality, risk, utilization, and medical history insights.
Reports are drawn from Quest’s lab test database and Inovalon’s clinical datasets on more than 123 million patients, according to a statement. As to what makes Data Diagnostics reports unique, Inovalon points to the capability of integrating and aggregating data for analysis in real-time. “Translating petabytes of data into actionable insights on demand is enabling clinicians to treat their patients more eectively at the point-ofcare,” said Keith Dunleavy, M.D., CEO, Inovalon in a statement.
Providers can order reports as they need them, as opposed to engaging a subscription- based service. Here is how the companies partially describe Data Diagnostics available reports:
- Quality-related reports aid caregivers in getting insight on a patient’s status as compared to models such as NCQA HEDIS, Medicare Advantage 5-Star Quality bonus programs, managed Medicaid, and more;
- Historical-related reports are designed to help clinicians get a heads-up on a disease progression, lab results, medications, and more to evaluate the patient.
- Risk score reports are aimed at sharing insight on historical risk score status, and predicted future risk score models including Medicare Advantage, state-specific managed Medicaid, Aordable Care Act, and Accountable Care Organization models;
- Eligibility reports give providers on-demand insight on patient eligibility for payment; and
- Waste avoidance reports share information about factors impacting care costs and explore insights on how, for example, unnecessary duplication of tests can be avoided.
Cleveland Clinic counsels on test utilization
Speaking of unnecessary duplication of tests, the Cleveland Clinic, in a white paper, “Strategies for Appropriate Test Utilization: The Right Test for the Right Patient at the Right Time,” reported that over utilization of laboratory tests presents patient satisfaction and safety issues and creates financial burdens for hospitals, patients and payers.
Cleveland Clinic Laboratories shares these test utilization strategies (involving data analytics, IT, organizational multi-disciplinary participation and more) to optimize lab testing: 1) eliminate duplicate testing (stopping duplicate same day orders); 2) restrict molecular genetic test orders to practitioners who regularly order those tests; 3) engage lab-based genetic counselors for inpatient testing; 4) notify caregivers about expensive tests with a goal of allowing them to consider a test’s absolute necessity; and 5) create smart alerts providing education that allows ordering providers to consider additional information about a test.
Takeaway: Lab data analytics can help enhance quality of care, ensure better test utilization, and manage the organization’s financial performance and risk.
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