Diagnostic laboratories are at the forefront of US efforts to assess the spread of COVID-19. Elective and non-urgent testing have been delayed as coronavirus testing has rolled out over the last several weeks. This has forced labs to face dramatic changes to the volume and type of testing that they conduct. To share insights on this shift across the diagnostic industry, XIFIN today introduced the XIFIN Lab Volume Index, a weekly reporting of lab testing volume data across the US. The Index revealed that COVID-19 currently makes up just under 30% of testing, yet overall lab volumes are still down approximately 40% even when virus testing is included.
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(Graphic: Business Wire)
XIFIN has been a leader in revenue cycle management for the diagnostic lab industry for more than 20 years, last year exceeding $40 billion in gross annual claims billing for its hospital-based and independent diagnostic laboratory RCM customers. Close to one million COVID-19 tests have been processed through XIFIN — 25% of all COVID-19 testing nationwide. The company analyzed its vast stores of data, representative of four out of five top integrated delivery networks (IDNs) and seven out of the top ten independent laboratories nationwide, to craft the Lab Volume Index. After analyzing customers’ billing volume, the data shows that COVID-19 started to make an impact on labs around March 9, 2020 (see accompanying chart A).
The latest Lab Volume Index data, for week ending April 19, revealed that overall lab testing volumes are down 57% for routine testing. However, COVID-19 testing brings total volume back up nearly 20%. In addition to offering overall industry volumes, XIFIN has broken the data down by lab segment (see accompanying chart B). These include:
- Hospital-based Labs – Current total volume is only 48% of pre-COVID-19 levels, with routine testing accounting for 38% of baseline volume and coronavirus testing contributing 10%, approximately 20% of current total volume.
- Clinical Labs – Current total volume stands at 77% of pre-COVID-19 levels, with coronavirus testing contributing 31%, which is 40% of current volume.
- Molecular Labs – Current total volume is nearly 80% of pre-COVID-19 levels, with coronavirus testing contributing 28%, about 35% of current volume.
- Pathology – Current volume is at 54% of pre-COVID levels, with coronavirus testing contributing 1%, which is 2% of total current volume.
“Diagnostics are critical to the US pandemic response, eventually helping the country re-open. The growth of COVID-19-related testing demonstrates that more laboratories are overcoming supply limitations and ramping up capacity. Yet, these vital providers are in a tough position, with routine volume significantly down, and rapid response to a growing epidemic hampered after years of lab margin erosion through reimbursement compression, coverage restrictions, new regulatory hurdles and narrow networks,” said Lâle White, Executive Chair and CEO, XIFIN. “This year during Lab Week we salute laboratories for their steadfast service in this crisis, but we should also recognize that ongoing cost-cutting has put them in a sometimes-untenable financial position at a time when we need their services the most. Now that CMS has increased reimbursement for COVID-19 testing, we need private payors to also ensure labs will be paid adequately for the important work they are doing.”
Yesterday, Lâle White and Kyle Fetter, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Diagnostic Services, XIFIN, joined healthcare analysts from UBS for an audio conference where they discussed findings from the Lab Volume Index, capacity utilization, and other industry dynamics. The replay is available here.
XIFIN also recently launched an online COVID-19 Laboratory Resource Center, which provides lab professionals with useful information on commercial and government payor guidelines and codes in one place. The company continues to monitor all payor updates and is sharing those via the Resource Center.
About XIFIN, Inc.
XIFIN is a health information technology company that leverages diagnostic information to improve the quality and economics of healthcare across its portfolio of solutions, including revenue cycle management, laboratory information systems, precision medicine informatics and digital pathology consultation services. Its cloud-based platform offers real-time connectivity, workflow automation, data exchange and actionable insights, linking healthcare stakeholders in the delivery and reimbursement of care. To learn more, visit www.XIFIN.com, follow XIFIN on Twitter and LinkedIn, or subscribe to the XIFIN blog.