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Thinking of selling the hospital laboratory?
                                                    ...think again

        Clinical laboratories are experiencing the fear factor as   Fig.1 shows that laboratory tests are the most frequently
        labs stand by and watch declining reimbursements and    ordered diagnostic procedures and account for 80%
        narrowing profit margins. The major commercial vendors   of the patient’s medical record. Once the lab is off-site,
        see the advantage of the unpredictable future facing many   the hospital will give up their financial advantage to
        clinical labs. The large commercial labs count on volume,   contain cost. Now that today’s labs are moving from
        and now that physician practices are moving under the   a volume-based fee-for-service model to a model based
        umbrella of health systems, this leaves the commercial   on quality and value reimbursements, lab management will
        vendor accountable to answer to their stakeholders.     need to ensure the patient is receiving the right test at the
        Finding alternative ways to grow volume is imperative   lowest cost for the best result.
        for these vendors to remain the industry heavyweights.
        What better way to ensure their stake in the market than
        to suggest outsourcing the hospital laboratory services.
        Hospital administrators are then approached with large
        payout incentives and are guaranteed a smooth turnkey
        operation. The attractive inducements offered by the
        vendors play a key role for executives to weigh the overall
        cost even if it means performing fewer tests.  Indeed, lab
        outsourcing can bring a considerable amount of upfront
        cash into the health care system, but not without a few
        tradeoffs.  After the move, the hospital will notice the first
        few years are good. At some point, the realization
        of the partnership may not be aligned with the
        hospital’s core values.

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