Health Diagnostic Laboratory Releases Patient Efficacy Study for Its Tests
As it continues operating under a regulatory microscope, Health Diagnostic Laboratory (HDL) is making some of the boldest claims to date regarding the efficacy of its cardiac and diabetic health monitoring services. HDL released a study earlier this month of 7,400 of its patients who received its testing services. According to the study, which was […]
As it continues operating under a regulatory microscope, Health Diagnostic Laboratory (HDL) is making some of the boldest claims to date regarding the efficacy of its cardiac and diabetic health monitoring services. HDL released a study earlier this month of 7,400 of its patients who received its testing services. According to the study, which was conducted in conjunction with analytics company Optum Health and the University of Richmond, the incidence of heart attacks dropped by 41 percent, ischemic strokes by 17 percent, and complications associated with diabetes dropped by 15 percent. Inpatient hospital admissions were also 21 percent lower compared to the non-HDL cohort. Using HDL’s services increased the total cost of care per patient by $7 per month compared to the non-HDL cohort. Costs for laboratory testing were also $98 per month higher per HDL patient. However, ambulatory care costs were 13 percent lower, emergency care costs were 19 percent lower, and inpatient costs were 17 percent lower for those using HDL’s services. “Improvements in outcomes emerged in a relatively short time frame [and] although laboratory costs increased, the costs were entirely offset by an expenditure shift away from other medical costs such as emergent care,” said Steve Thompson, an associate professor of management at the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business. According to an HDL spokesperson, Thompson was not available for comment regarding the composition of the non-HDL cohort or other specifics of the study, which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. “It is extremely rewarding to see independent data that validates our model and the hard work that all of us put into this organization,” said Joseph McConnell, HDL’s chief executive officer. HDL, which grew rapidly between its founding in 2009 and 2012, when its annual revenue peaked at more than $400 million, has been under federal investigation for paying physicians who use its services a $20 shipping and handling fee for patient blood draws. Such payments could be construed as violating federal anti-kickback laws. HDL, which discontinued the practice in June, said it was cooperating with an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Its founder and former chief executive officer, Tonya Mallory, stepped down earlier this year, replaced by McConnell. Last month, HDL laid off about 15 percent of its total workforce, about 132 employees in all—the second round of layoffs conducted by the lab this year. Takeaway: In the midst of a federal investigation, HDL continues to press the fiscal case for using its laboratory services.