Program subject to change. Please check back for updates.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Julie Khani, president of the American Clinical Laboratory Association, will lead what promises to be a lively discussion. Engage with Industry Leaders in a Panel Discussion of the Latest Regulatory and Health care reform issues and their Implications for the Diagnostics Industry. Among the panelists will be Vince Stine, Ph.D, Director of Government Affairs for American Association for Clinical Chemistry; and Julie Scott Allen, Washington Representative, The District Policy Group, National Independent Laboratory Association; and John H. Scott, Vice President, Policy and Advocacy, College of American Pathologists.
Speaker: Steve Shumpert, CEO of Sonic Healthcare USA

The lab industry is on the verge of a “golden age” of innovation and technological advancement that is literally unparalleled in history. From the emergence artificial intelligence and automation of high-volume testing, to rapid advances in molecular testing, the lab industry is transforming itself to deliver a new level of highly-advanced, highly-personalized, and highly-integrated diagnostic services. Join us to take a close look at where we are now, and where we are going, and what it means to your lab! In this special keynote presentation, Steve Shumpert, CEO of Sonic Healthcare USA, gives unique insight into the challenges facing Sonic, and the industry as a whole, and how Sonic is preparing now for new growth and profit opportunities open to diagnostic labs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize some of the rapid advances in technology affecting the lab industry
  • Understand how these advances bring challenges to the lab industry
  • Recognize opportunities for lab growth and profit in these developments

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Speaker: Keith Laughman, CEO of Viewics, Inc.

As we make the transition from volume to value, the laboratory has an opportunity to redefine how it’s measured and valued. Keith Laughman, CEO of Viewics, will be sharing objective and evidence-based strategies for how the practice of laboratory medicine can reposition the health system in value based care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the current transition from volume to value
  • Recognize the opportunity for a lab to redefine how it is measured and valued
  • List strategies for laboratory medicine to reposition itself in value based care
Presenters: Joyce Gresko, attorney in Alston & Bird’s Washington, D.C., office, where she is a member of the Health Care and Legislative & Public Policy Teams; Kyle Fetter, VP & General Manager of Diagnostic Services, XIFIN, Inc.

This panel discussion will address the regulatory and compliance issues that regulatory and oversight entities are focusing on in the laboratory and pathology context including the latest developments concerning Laboratory Developed Tests, Direct to Consumer diagnostics, genetic testing and laboratory quality and patient safety

Learning Objectives

  • Have a historical context for efforts to regulate Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs)
  • Identify key issues associated with regulation of Direct-to-Consumer testing
  • Gain an awareness of current trends in enforcement of billing, coding, and payment rules for laboratory tests
Shally Madan, Co-Founder and COO, Luminate Health; Sam Terese, President and Chief Executive Officer at PCL Alverno / Alverno Clinical Laboratories; Robert Stallone, Vice President, Laboratory Medicine, Northwell Health Labs

Laboratories today face an extremely competitive environment, with continued pricing pressure from shrinking reimbursement rates. It is more important than ever that labs take a customer-focused approach and make customer acquisition and retention a key strategic focus. Successful laboratories extend this focus to both clinicians and patients, realizing that both play a critical role in growing their business. Offering services that improve customer service and the patient experience not only make their clients happy, but drive improved patient satisfaction and outcomes.

In this panel session hear firsthand from laboratory leaders who are implementing customer success initiatives with clinicians and patients at their labs, hospitals and health systems. They will discuss the latest trends in laboratory customer success, share best practices, and outline key principles and action items that you can utilize to bring a customer-focus to your laboratory operations.

Learning Objectives:

  • List customer success initiatives as described by laboratory leaders
  • Recognize latest trends in customer success
  • Outline key principles and action items to bring customer focus to your lab
Speaker: James C. Capretta, resident fellow and Milton Friedman chair at the American Enterprise Institute, and member of the Board of Health Care Services of the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

This presentation will provide an assessment of health policy one year into the term of the new administration. His comments will address both the positive and negative aspects of legislative, regulatory, and other policy changes that have been implemented since January, with a particular focus on what these changes will mean for various industries of the health sector. He will also look ahead and suggest possible additional policy changes that may take place over the coming months and years.

Learning Objectives:

  • Anticipate the likely next steps in health policy debate in Congress.
  • Incorporate the shifting regulatory environment into their planning.
  • Identify potential opportunities for changes in regulatory activity.
Each year, the Kellison Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual who, over an extended period of time, has served the diagnostic laboratory industry in an outstanding way, especially through his or her organizational leadership, effective management and/or valuable non-profit service to the industry.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions 

Redesigned breakout sessions focus on maximizing your laboratory’s or pathology practice’s efficiency, profitability, growth and innovation to benefit your bottom line

(1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.)
Billing, Coding and Payment Update for 2018

In this session Diana Voorhees, nationally-recognized coding and billing expert, will provide a close look at how to comply with the perennial lab challenges including documenting medical necessitytest order documentation, unbundling for ADLTwaiving co-pays and deductiblesup-codingfalse claims liabilitykickbacks, and more.  Plus you’ll explore how the rules are evolving and being applied to novel billing, coding and reimbursement issues, and review critical billing and coding changes upcoming for 2018.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss procedural coding changes for 2018
  • Describe proposed changes in government reimbursement
  • Discuss pertinent policies and issues affecting coverage
  • Determine anticipated impact of CMS editing systems
  • As time allows, delve into additional topics of interest or concern

(3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.)
Compliance: Key Trends and Potential Vulnerabilities

Presenters: Robert Mazer, Shareholder with Baker Donelson; Kristin Carter, Shareholder with Baker Donelson

This presentation will explore compliance issues and trends for clinical laboratories, including current enforcement initiatives. This presentation will address, among other things, medical necessity issues, CLIA proficiency testing issues, private payor actions, arrangements that exclude federal beneficiaries, direct access testing and additional compliance topics.

Learning Objectives:

  • Take an overview of compliance issues for laboratories
  • Be aware of current enforcement initiatives
  • Be able to list compliance vulnerabilities

(4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.)
Genetic Testing Reimbursement, Privacy Protection and Defending a Medicare Audit

Presenters: Sharon C. Zehe, Attorney at Mayo Clinic & Vice President of Business Affairs for Mayo Medical Laboratories; and Andrew B. Wachler, Managing Partner, Wachler Associates.

The scientific community continues to advance in its understanding of how genes and genetic mutations can affect the diagnoses, prognoses, and treatment options of many diseases, while existing DNA sequencing and other laboratory technologies such as Next Generation Sequencing used to explore these advances continue to evolve. There are many legal barriers facing providers and researchers in precision medicine initiatives: 1) how to navigate research and privacy protections to use the data gathered; 2) how to provide affordable testing for patients without running afoul of fraud and abuse laws; and 3) how to use results responsibly as the data evolves. This session will consider the regulatory, reimbursement and other legal challenges that confront laboratories that engage in genetic testing. This program will also discuss successful audit strategies that address issues of medical necessity and coverage determinations raised by payors such as Medicare.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to navigate research and privacy protections to use the data gathered
  • Understand how to provide affordable testing for patients without running afoul of fraud and abuse laws
  • Explain how to use results responsibly as the data evolves
(1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.)
Laboratory 2.0 – How TriCore Innovation Strategy Created a New Revenue Strategy

Speakers: Rick VanNess, Director, Product Development – TriCore Reference Laboratories; Tena Ross, Maternal Child Health Program Coordinator – UnitedHealthcare.

During a time of uncertain revenue streams, TriCore Reference Laboratories is attempting to create a new revenue stream through generating actionable information from laboratory data to produce better patient outcomes. Utilizing Rhodes Group’s evolutionary platform, TriCore provided valuable insights to a large New Mexico payer regarding the prenatal status of several hundred members. With the data serving as a catalyst to better care co-ordination processes, a significant number of care gaps were closed, NICU LoS was lower, and incentivized quality measures were increased for the payer. After calculating the project’s value and extrapolating the value to an annual projection, TriCore has created a business model to generate new revenue.

Learning Objectives:

  • Uncover the possibilities of creating new revenue with data
  • Understand how data can help close care gaps
  • Describe a new business model with data as a catalyst

(3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.)
Out-of-Network 101: Learn How to Maximize Reimbursements

Speakers: John Bartos, CEO, Collect Rx; Franklin Smith Jr., Director Revenue Cycle Management, Collect Rx, Inc.

As providers survey the landscape today, there aren’t many opportunities to improve reimbursements rates. Your in-network contracts are hard to change, and Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements are what they are. But out-of-network represents a last, great opportunity for many providers to bring more dollars in the door to improve the bottom-line.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the basics of out-of-network
  • Discover how out-of-network can be leveraged to increase your reimbursements
  • Uncover the issues that arise with respect to third party rental network agreements (and Silent PPOs)
  • Find more time to focus on patient care

(4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.)
Sales and Marketing Strategies for Outreach Success

Presenter: Joseph Song, Chief Executive Officer, Associated Pathology Medical Group

Learning Objectives:

  • Be able to market to a specialty office with specific strategies.
  • Be able to manage sales staff successfully.
  • Be able to deal with problematic sales and marketing issues that come up daily.

From basic to complex ideas, a complete overview of strategies for lab outreach. For beginners and the experienced alike, a comprehensive discussion of today’s obstacles in sales and marketing, strategies for each specialties and common questions answered in today’s difficult landscape. Will also discuss what makes a successful sales representative and how to keep them happy.

(1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.)
Case Study: Growing a Specialty Diagnostic Company: Raising Capital, Gaining Reimbursement Coverage and Negotiating Out of Network and Growth Strategies

Speaker: Derek Maetzold, Founder, President and CEO of Castle Biosciences

Learning Objectives:

  • Recount how a speciality diagnostic company managed growth
  • Describe strategies for raising capital
  • Describe strategies for gaining reimbursement coverage and negotiating out of network

(3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.)
Case Study: Client Experience in a Brave New World for Reimbursement

Presenters: Steve Stonecypher and Andrew Stimmler, Principals of Shipwright Healthcare Group

The laboratory and technology sector is growing rapidly, and with the expansion of genetic based testing, laboratory coding, insurance companies have fallen behind in the explosive growth. Costs have skyrocketed and health plans have reacted by continuing to cut reimbursement and add medical policy limitations as well as adding another layer of complexity with benefit managers. We will discuss how these trends may impact your laboratory, and concepts to help you think about your service offering in a different light.

Learning Objectives:

  • Familiarize yourself with the key drivers in healthcare today.
  • Understand how Medicare, Medicaid, patient responsibility to benefit managers, all impact our ability to proceed as a participating laboratory.
  • Become familiar with the value based contracting trend and how laboratories can start to prepare.

(4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.)
Case Study: How One Lab’s Growth Strategies Exceeded Sales Goals by 107% while Retaining 95% of Existing Business

Presenters: Nate Koenig,Chief Marketing Officer, Incyte Diagnostics; Ryan Berk, Business Analyst, Incyte Diagnostics

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how a case study lab beat its sales goals
  • Describe how a case study lab retained most of its business during sales growth
  • Discuss how you could apply this lab`s growth strategies to your lab
(1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.)
How Leadership Drives Innovation – Maintaining Focus, Avoiding Distractions

Presenter: Lee Hubert, MBA, SPHR – SCP, Principal Consultant, Voltage Leadership Consulting

The laboratory industry and the people who lead it, are often faced with an overwhelming amount of data input resulting in “sensory overload.” Prioritizing operational concerns while dealing with distractions can be a daunting task especially given the pace at which the laboratory business often runs at. Please join us for a highly iterative session about practical tips and tools laboratory professionals can use to help consistently show up at their best. This session helps laboratory leaders learn how to minimize distractions, design their time and maintain focus on what is most important.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn what our “best” days and ‘most challenging” days have in common
  • Learn to overcome the “tyranny of the present”
  • Review practical guidance for handling interruptions
  • Receive tips for removing “drama” for laboratory environments
  • Learn to find more time to focus on things that matter most

(3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.)
Setting the Stage for Financial Improvement in the Lab: Doing More With Less and Driving Results

Presenter: Jeffrey H. Myers, CPA, Vice President of Consulting for Accumen Inc.

Join this engaging session to gain valuable insight on how to position the clinical laboratory for sustainability and growth with increased legislative demands including PAMA and the corresponding reimbursement cuts on the business. Discover industry best practices that drive performance improvement which may be complex, but if properly executed, a forward looking laboratory strategy can improve expense performance and provide revenue growth. Understanding industry specific benchmarks affords the organization the ability to realize margin improvement through optimizing labor, non-labor, and other core costs of the laboratory while maintaining the highest quality for patient care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn more about current legislative changes and complex market challenges that laboratories must address to remain competitive
  • Identify industry-specific benchmarks that can be used to improve laboratory costs and enhance operating margin
  • Discover proven best practices that enable laboratories to do more with less without compromising high standards of patient care
  • Recognize how an effective laboratory strategy for the future can reduce expenses while driving growth and profitability

(4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.)
Using Laboratory Analytics to Manage Over and Underutilization of Testing for Better Patient Care and Improved Financial Performance

Presenter: Thomas Joseph, President and CEO at Visiun

Managing test utilization in order to reduce unnecessary testing is one of the greatest opportunities for laboratories to improve financial performance while enhancing patient care. This session will provide an overview of the approaches health systems are using to manage both overutilization and underutilization, and how analytics can drive improved utilization practices. Surveys of physician practice patterns will be discussed along with key benchmarks and assessments of the scale of opportunities across the industry.

Purpose of Presentation:
To provide an overview of changes driving review of test utilization practices, the variety of approaches health systems have to control over and underutilization of testing, and how analytics can drive improved utilization practices.

Key Topics:

  • Consequences of unnecessary testing for patient care (Ex: Iatrogenic anemia, time spent on insignificant results, missed and delayed diagnoses, incorrect diagnoses, increased length of stays)
  • Common categories of unnecessary testing (Ex: ordering an FT4 when the TSH is normal, redundant testing such as troponin and CKMB’s ordered together, and excessive frequency of repeat testing.)
  • How analytics can identify key opportunities for improved utilization practices and ongoing audits of physician practice patterns (Ex: Limiting esoteric tests, posting guidelines, and minimizing bundles of tests, and test auditing)
  • An analysis of industry data including variations in physician practice patterns
  • The scale of opportunities (percent of test volume and reduction in expense)

Learning Objectives:

  • Take a broad view of the changes driving review of test utilization practices
  • Identify how health systems can control over- and under-utilization of testing
  • Explain how analytics can drive improved utilization practices

Friday, October 27, 2017

Speaker: David Nichols, MBA, President of The Nichols Management Group (NMG)

What are the trends determining your lab’s success today and in the future? This presentation will cover factors in the clinical and anatomic laboratory market, including size, growth rate, regulatory and reimbursement trends and niche trends. For hospital laboratories, you will hear about overall trends, and strategic options including outreach growth, sale of outreach, and inpatient management with the sale of outreach. A review of major hospital deals with nationals in the last five years will include the structure of deals, and considerations for hospitals to keep in mind when evaluating options will also be covered. New technologies and critical factors for success will round out the picture of future trends and impacts.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify trends to determine lab success.
  • List factors influencing the clinical and anatomic laboratory success.
  • Recognize how new technologies impact the industry.
The Patient-Centric Laboratory: A Renewed Focus
Speaker: Jane Hermansen MBA, MT(ASCP), Manager, Network and Outreach Development, Mayo Medical Laboratories, Rochester

Laboratory testing is absolutely necessary for patient care, and the role of high-value diagnostics continues to increase in importance across the continuum of care. High quality, cost-effective and appropriately-utilized laboratory tests are essential in achieving healthcare’s Triple Aim.

Today, the physician-centric model of “Doctor Knows Best” is no longer the only consideration. Have we ever asked the patient, “What will an abnormal result mean to you?” With the patient at the center, healthcare delivery systems must leave the status quo behind and develop processes that are intentionally focused on what is important to the patient. This focus will drive improvements in patient transactions, access and efficiency while managing costs; and when managed properly will create increased loyalty and improved outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the difference between physician-centric and patient-centric laboratory testing
  • Identify the role that the laboratory has in achieving healthcare’s Triple Aim
  • Develop a plan to upgrade your laboratory to providing patient-centric services
Speaker: Jason Bhan, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Prognos; and Philip Chen, Sonic Healthcare Chief Healthcare Informatics Officer

Despite having significant amounts of data playing a vital role in clinical decision making, most laboratories have not yet invested in a data strategy or even leveraged their individual data assets. However, the rest of the healthcare industry has made great strides in exploring the potential and harnessing the power of big data, advanced analytics, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to grow business and improve patient outcomes.

This session, hosted by Prognos Cofounder & Chief Medical Officer, Jason Bhan, MD and Sonic Healthcare Chief Healthcare Informatics Officer, Philip Chen, MD, will explain why healthcare AI should be welcomed into labs. Sonic’s iMorpheus platform drives clinical decisions, while Prognos’ solutions use lab data to predict disease, and both lead to improvements in patient care and outcomes. Join us to learn how lab data insights can benefit physicians, patients, therapy developers, and health plans, and what that can mean for a lab’s commercial success.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand why AI should be welcomed into labs.
  • Explain how data lab insights can benefit all parties in the health system.
  • Recognize how big data, advanced analytics and AI can improve business and patient outcomes.
Speakers: Carl Yamashiro, Ph.D., Faculty Associate, International School of Biomedical Diagnostics
Department of Biomedical Informatics, College of Health Solutions; Arizona State University; Andrew Fletcher, MD, Medical Director of Consultative Services, ARUP Laboratories

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the rationale for hospital laboratory utilization programs.
  • Explain the role of the National Committee for Laboratory Stewardship.
  • Learn the 4 Basic elements of a Laboratory Stewardship program.

Biomedical diagnostics provides actionable information needed for the majority of medical decisions for patient care. Yet diagnostics is not applied in a consistent manner due to the lack of education and standardization. According to Dr. Carl Yamashiro, the International School of Biomedical Diagnostics at Arizona State University is taking a unique approach towards addressing these issues by initially providing graduate education which students receive a broad, yet applied instruction on the major facets of biomedical diagnostics setting an industry standard baseline for those working in the field, from laboratory technicians to executives, need to know to be more impactful.

Clinical Laboratory Stewardship (CLS) programs are dedicated to improving the ordering, retrieval, and interpretation of appropriate laboratory tests. In addition, these programs focus on developing, maintaining and improving systems to provide proper financial coverage for medically necessary testing. Overall, CLS programs help clinicians improve the quality of patient care while reducing costs to patients, hospitals, and health systems. Dr. Fletcher will summarize and explain the core elements of successful hospital-based CLS programs. The core elements will also be helpful to independent, commercial clinical laboratories.