Lab gets a jump on pay-for-value world

Before the Affordable Care Act was passed, and before the notion of an ACO became a Medicare reality, Richard J. Cote, MD, was among those in medicine who saw the writing on the wall regarding health care payment.

Dr. Cote recalls his thinking as he joined the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in 2009 to become chair of its Department of Pathology.

“President Obama had just been elected. There was a great push for creating a comprehensive health care system across the country to insure uninsured people,” Dr. Cote tells CAP TODAY. “What was very clear to me, even before the ACA came into being, was that this push was going to accelerate the at-risk model of reimbursement and that there was also going to be very much a downward pressure on reimbursement for all medical services, including pathology, which we’ve clearly seen take place. And there was going to be a move to better coordinated management of care.”

Dr. Cote and his laboratory colleagues at UM are preparing for this transition away from the traditional, and still predominant, fee-for-service payment model. They say the health-system–owned laboratory must move beyond its established role to show how it will help cut costs while improving care and outcomes.

My latest feature article in CAP TODAY. Read the whole shebang.