Variety and Complexity of Routine and Genetic Testing Poses Challenge for Health Plans and Clinicians
TAMPA, Fla., June 28, 2023 — Avalon Healthcare Solutions, the world’s first Lab Insights company, today released its 2023 Lab Trend Report, an annual evaluation of the status of U.S. clinical lab testing and an analysis of what to expect in the coming year.
Though the overall number of routine tests declined from 2021 to 2022, primarily due to a reduction in COVID-19 tests, the number of non-COVID tests rose during the same period, and is expected to continue to grow, along with overall spending on tests, according to the report. Among the reasons: overuse of tests, replacement of simple, inexpensive tests with more expensive ones, and more tests being performed in higher-priced settings.
More than 14 billion clinical laboratory tests are performed each year, making it the number one utilized medical benefit, and yet these diagnostics have the least management. Overall, lab tests drive 70% of medical treatment decisions, and have a disproportionate impact on spending throughout the care continuum. Avalon uses its specialized knowledge of lab science and breadth of data on how lab testing impacts other areas of medicine to identify trends in clinical testing.
“Testing is going to become an even more crucial part of healthcare. Its potential to improve care is vast, but its rapid growth and complexity also demand better ways to manage its use and associated costs,” said Bill Kerr, MD, CEO, Avalon Healthcare Solutions.
Among the other findings of the 2023 Lab Trend Report:
- Overuse and unnecessary repetition of lab tests are common. Up to 30% of tests are inappropriate or unnecessary.
- The number of genetic tests is enormous and increasing drastically. There are more than 135,000 genetic tests available with more than 10 new ones added daily.
- Though they constitute only 10% of the tests performed, genetic tests account for 30% of spending.
- The cost of lab tests varies widely depending on where they are performed. Hospital tests cost more than those performed at independent laboratories.
The annual Lab Trend report, the third issued by Avalon, reviews the recent lab data experience and market dynamics to identify important emerging trends for healthcare executives. It includes:
- A look at the legislative and regulatory changes affecting testing.
- An evaluation of newly marketed tests and those under development.
- A comprehensive summary of the benefit health plans can realize by integrating laboratory values into their decision-making, and member and provider management to realize the promise of patient-centric, value-driven care.
“After years of being somewhat of an afterthought in healthcare, lab testing is finally getting the attention it deserves from health plans, clinicians and government,” Kerr said. “A better understanding and management of testing is necessary if we are to make the transition to value-based care and provide the best possible treatments for patients while still controlling costs. It is our hope that this report provides healthcare leaders with valuable information to help accomplish that goal.”
To request the 2023 Lab Trend Report, go here.
About Avalon Healthcare Solutions
Avalon Healthcare Solutions is the world’s first and only Lab Insights company, bringing together our proven Lab Benefit Management solutions, lab science expertise, digitized lab values, and proprietary analytics to help healthcare insurers proactively inform appropriate care, reduce costs, and improve clinical outcomes. Working with health plans across the country, the company covers more than 38 million lives and delivers 8-12% outpatient lab benefit savings. Avalon is pioneering a new era of value-driven care with its Lab Insights Program that captures, digitizes, and analyzes lab results in real-time to provide actionable insights for earlier disease detection, ensuring appropriate treatment protocols, and driving down overall costs. For more information about Avalon, visit www.avalonhcs.com.
Michele Norton MS, RN
SVP Product Marketing, Avalon Healthcare Solutions
Amendola Communications for Avalon Healthcare Solutions