"The infectious disease segment is the predominant application for molecular pathology and accounts for 60 percent of the market," said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Winny Tan, Ph.D. "The tremendous need and rapid technological development guarantee higher volumes of molecular diagnostic tests for infectious disease."
While opportunities are abundant, laboratories are feeling the pinch of a 1.75 percent cut to the Medicare lab fee for the next five years. Furthermore, with new American Medical Association (AMA) codes that are analyte-specific, substituting stacked procedure codes, the high-growth molecular pathology segment will likely follow the trend of falling reimbursement rates observed across healthcare.
Traditionally, the pathology practice has not been patient interfacing; however, pathologists will have to become more than just interpreters of laboratory results to help reverse the diminishing reimbursement trend. By being ambassadors for the laboratory, pathologists can help publicize the value of laboratory testing, which will in turn influence patient care.
"Laboratories must empower pathologists with continuous development and leadership training," said Tan. "Additional efforts to increase the pathologist's role would involve establishing patient case reviews with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians and radiologists. Once they are adequately prepared for their expanded roles, they can begin to integrate the patients' total laboratory testing history with the current diagnosis."
The market can help patients save costs and simultaneously increase test volumes by advocating early detection of diseases. The introduction of ACOs that rely on value-based medical care will also reinforce the use of screening tests and, thereby, generate higher revenues for the market.
|SOURCE Frost & Sullivan|
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