When I began doing what I as a job, I don't call it a career because I didn't choose it. There were laboratories that processed blood, urine and other types of specimens around and they still exist. However, they accepted all of the health insurances so we really only needed to use one. Soon afterwards, health insurance companies began to negotiate rates for different tests and they decided to use other labs as their exclusive or preferred laboratory. This was still before the affordable care act. As a result medical offices had to use a lab according to the patients health insurance. This is sort of like working in two different countries. The work is the same but the language is different. Then years later the affordable care act came along and guess what? The laboratories that were most common among the medical world were suddenly not in network with certain health insurance companies. In that instance labs are either processed at a hospital near the medical office or at a laboratory in network but a distance away. This means, and you guessed it, like working in another country. The front desk office worker went from uni, bi to tri all in one job span. There are other labs who have expanded their network by way of areas, counties that they offer to process labs, but are not considered preferred or exclusive to any health insurance company. It may be a problem if a patient has to pay out of pocket if the health insurance company decides that the laboratory is not a designated lab to use. With many people still not able to afford to use their health insurance, deductibles are very high; patients often times may not want their physician to order many tests because of their cost. If labs are not being utilized often, how do they stay in business? They offer EMR services and many kinds of testing that can determine the extent or severity of an illness without having to undergo a biopsy or procedure. A merger of sorts would help the medical world not only be consistent with lab results, and ordering tests. It would also help with cost effectiveness because each lab processes the same type of test or test panel, if they restructure how each test is done and where it would reduce the cost to perform them. The universal test requisition can be used and only one website to access completed test results and order tests ect., if a merger is done. Why do we need different test numbers for each lab? Am I taking away the competition that is supposed to be healthy? Of course not. A laboratory can continue to exist, but it may be a lot less expensive to maintain and that cost effectiveness could reduce lab costs for patients overall. Also, the laboratory testing companies could offer for a small fee rapid PT/INR testing machines for medical office use, along with urinalysis testing equipment. Don't giggle at me! Think of all the bleeping money you save from having your stat driver pick up said specimen and then for a nearby hospital to process it and send the results to the medical office. Think of all the money you could save if you offered this kind of equipment, look at all of the medical offices and facilities out there that outsource their labs. A laboratory merger is necessary to reduce costs not only for a lab company itself but for patients who use them.
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