Cost Cutting

Medical Labs Find Financial Efficiencies by Identifying and Fixing the Recurring Cost of Bad Quality

Like everyone in healthcare, clinical laboratories and pathology groups feel the financial squeeze. Shrinking budgets and decreasing prices for lab tests have made financial efficiencies a primary goal for nearly every medical lab in the United States, as noted in a recent article in Dark Daily. According to the article, labs shouldn’t only focus on low-hanging fruit like reducing staff overtime. They should also turn their attention to one of the biggest cost control opportunities: reducing errors.

The article notes that the “recurring cost of bad quality” is a fairly new concept in clinical laboratory operations. There have been attempts to address it, but unfortunately, much of the recurring cost of bad quality is nearly invisible. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that poor quality is all too often accepted as a normal consequence of lab tests.

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Healthcare Providers Are Feeling the Squeeze: Cost-cutting alone just won’t cut it

“Healthcare providers as a group continue to operate with slim and shrinking margins,” according to recent analysis from Modern Healthcare. Sadly, that’s not a surprise to most of us. The study—which included acute-care, post-acute care, rehabilitation and specialty hospital groups as well as stand-alone hospitals— found that the average operating margin in 2013 was 3.1%, which was down from 3.6% in 2012. Over 61% of organizations saw their operating margins erode over the previous year.

While we’ve seen this coming, the news is sobering. And analysts are skeptical that the worst is over. According to Modern Healthcare, all three credit-rating agencies hold negative outlooks for the not-for-profit healthcare sector.

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