New Practice Revenue Sources: Health Diagnostic Laboratories

August 16, 2012
Audrey Mclaughlin, RN

HDL provides physicians the ability to perform comprehensive lab tests for the early detection of several issues while also adding revenue.

Today's new revenue source is a great companion for Critical Care Assessment from last week. Health Diagnostic Laboratories (HDL) provides physicians the ability to perform the most comprehensive lab test for the early detection of heart attack, stroke, insulin resistance, malnutrition, and diabetes on their patients while generating additional revenue for their clinic in two key ways.

The flagship service for HDL is their Advanced Lipid Testing. This is a blood test that tests for the lipid markers that are very early indicators for a multitude of diseases from many different body functions. Advanced Lipid Testing is a great benefit to the patient, allowing them to act proactively to improve their health and correct a disease state on the horizon. This test can be performed four times a year with proper indications and can be performed with an annual physical.

In the same manner as other systems I have discussed in this series, HDL's results are clear, concise, and color-coded, indicating a visual presentation of green to red to assist patients in understanding the reality of their health situation

HDL functions as an out-of-network lab - they submit claims for the tests performed and they accept what the insurance company has paid; there are no additional bills to the patients for copays or to cover out of pocket payments. This is a huge benefit to patients who often avoid necessary lab tests due to high deductibles and/or copays.

From an office responsibility stand point, there are no investments. Blood is drawn in the office, then packed and shipped to HDL for testing. To compensate offices for the time it takes their staff to pack the samples, HDL pays the physicians office $20 per patient, providing a new revenue stream. In addition to the Advanced Lipid Testing, HDL is a full-service lab, providing physicians the ability to send all lab work and receive results through their service, this can cut down on back office confusion of deciding which lab gets what test.

When a patients' results are received by the office, the physician is recommended to see that patient back for a follow-up visit to review the results. HDL's Advanced Lipid Testing allows physicians to bill one level to two levels higher for the office visit. Typically a doctor would bill a follow-up visit at a level 2 or level 3. The level of information reported in this instance justifies a level 4 or 5, generating an additional $60 to $85 per patient.

One of my favorite things about HDL, is that as long as a physician is utilizing HDL, they have free access to health coaches (all registered dietitians) for their patients, with the option of the health coach consulting via phone, online, or in-person to assist them in moving into a healthier lifestyle.

HDL provides a new revenue stream by expanding on services that you are already providing to your patients, in a format that is seamlessly implemented into existing work flow patterns, provides life saving information, health coaches to assist in lifestyle changes, and all without any out-of-pocket cost to the physician or the patient.

Find out more about Audrey "Christie" McLaughlin and our other Practice Notes bloggers.