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Lab Industry Likely to Benefit from Expanded Preventive Testing Under New Health Care Law
Date:5/4/2010

The health care reform law enacted last month offers a potential boon to the diagnostic lab industry in the form of new business, but downward pressure on Medicare reimbursement rates could have a negative impact on revenues, said lab industry expert Dennis Weissman at a Slone Partners teleconference on the new law April 21.

Miami, FL (PRWEB) May 4, 2010 -- The health care reform law enacted last month offers a potential boon to the diagnostic lab industry in the form of new business, but downward pressure on Medicare reimbursement rates could have a negative impact on revenues, said lab industry expert Dennis Weissman at a Slone Partners teleconference on the new law.

The addition of 32 million people to the health insurance rolls over the next 10 years, the result of the law's mandate that persons have coverage, is likely to produce a proportional increase in the amount of diagnostic testing, Mr. Weissman predicted.

Moreover, he said, the law's elimination in 2011 of cost sharing for preventive services under Medicare is likely to lead to an increase in preventive and wellness testing. Starting next year beneficiaries will also have access to a comprehensive risk assessment and creation of a personalized prevention plan. "Certainly diagnostic testing is a piece of that puzzle," he said.

The elimination of cost sharing for preventive services will expand beyond Medicare when the health insurance exchange marketplace is created in 2014. "The biggest change in my estimate is going to hit private plans, starting once the health exchange starts in 2014, where they will be required to cover all A and B diagnostic tests as recommended by the Preventive Services Task Force," Mr. Weissman said.

Although a half-percent cut in the clinical lab fee schedule that was supposed to take place in 2011-13 has been eliminated, the so-called productivity adjustment that begins next year combined with a 1.75% cut to be imposed next year through 2015 will cost the lab industry $10 billion, Mr. Weissman estimates, and in 2016 will leave it with a smaller base for subsequent reimbursement increases than would have been the case under prior law.

Dennis Weissman is president of Dennis Weissman & Associates and a leading expert in the clinical diagnostic laboratory and pathology sectors. He is the founder of Washington G-2 Reports, a national news and information company that provides strategic market and policy intelligence to the clinical diagnostic industry. Dennis also serves as a senior consultant to Slone Partners.

The teleconference, "Get Answers About Health Care Reform," was the first in an occasional series of free presentations sponsored by Slone Partners for the benefit of its clients and associates in the diagnostic laboratory industry. Recordings can be obtained from the event's moderator, Slone Partners President Tara Kochis, at tara(at)slonepartners(dot)com.

About Slone Partners
Slone Partners is a national recruitment firm specializing in delivering top executive and management talent in the diagnostic laboratory industry. The firm's management and recruitment team have all held key positions at highly regarded laboratories across the US, giving Slone Partners a unique and extremely knowledgeable perspective on best practices for hiring successful candidates in a laboratory setting. In addition, Slone Partners leverages its extensive database of management, sales and executive candidates built through more than a decade of networking, attending prominent industry conferences and placing highly qualified candidates in positions throughout the US. For more information on Slone Partners, please visit www.slonepartners.com.

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