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Part 3: Analytics for the Lab Director

This is the third installment of a four-part series. View Part 1 or Part 2 (Analytics for the RCM Team).


Hospital financials have partially rebounded from a difficult start in 2022, but operating margins remained at a loss in March, for the third consecutive month. Meanwhile, hospitals continue to focus on improving the patient experience. Laboratory outreach and outpatient operations can positively impact relevant metrics in both categories, with the appropriate people, processes, and technologies in place.

As discussed in the second installment of this series, success factors for laboratory outreach include maximizing capacity, optimizing competitive pricing, automating cumbersome and complex revenue cycle management routines, and building or acquiring reporting capabilities tailored for each stakeholder. To this end, we now highlight analytics needed to support the lab director and customer-facing sales and service roles.

Focus on Testing Volumes and Referrals

As the laboratory director of a profit center, your reporting should provide a clear picture of how the lab is running as a business and what is driving success. Routine reporting should include dashboards for testing volumes, mix, revenue, and profitability.

In addition, we find that analyses of referrals provide highly actionable information for positioning the organization for profitable growth. This investigation will uncover:

  • How do clients rank in terms of financial impact?
  • Which clients are most profitable?
  • What does the payor mix look like?
  • Which referral sources exhibit adverse patterns based on incomplete or inaccurate data?

Working in concert with sales and service colleagues, this data can be used to understand what is driving the business, how to exploit opportunities for growth, and what coaching would be advisable to mitigate sub-optimal ordering patterns or other problem areas.

This analysis can be accomplished at the physician level, not just the practice level, for greater precision. Proactively avoiding unnecessary denials in this manner not only impacts financials but also benefits patient satisfaction ratings. 

Below is a sample volume trend report, by client, providing a good first cut at understanding referral sources.

Here is a breakdown of billings by procedure to better grasp the financial impact of the testing mix.

Here is an example of valuable drilldown capability for individual clients, demonstrating revenue per accession, by payor group. This snapshot is particularly useful data for pinpointing what actually turns into cash.

Finally, we examine error volumes by client, to begin identifying clients that likely warrant additional attention. 


Recommended Resource:

XIFIN RPM Advanced Analytics

Learn more about the operational and financial analytics available through Tableau-driven workbooks, specifically designed for C-level executives, finance, billing and revenue cycle leaders, and departmental managers.

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