[Histonet] Pa Leeeze

O'Donnell, Bill billodonnell <@t> catholichealth.net
Tue Nov 20 14:25:17 CST 2012

Like it or not, politics played a part in the cut of 88305. So did POLs,
CAP and a host of other factors. Finger pointing in time of uncertainty
somehow makes us all feel better, but  it doesn't give us concrete ways
of addressing the problem. Histology has enjoyed a fairly long period of
great reimbursement, reasonable per-test costs, and a certain amount of
security in that what we do is unique.

That is all changing, but was likely to change at least some no matter
who was elected to do whatever. Remember the panic when DRG's first

There is no doubt that labs are going to have to get leaner, but this
was already a trend. Find reasonable ways to cut costs. I know. We've
been doing this for years.... But it needs to go further. 

Some people will lose their jobs. I may well be one of them and I don't
like it, but it is a reality. If I go down, it will not be for lack of
trying to maintain.

88305 cuts are big but there are a lot of clinical services getting cuts
as well. Hospitals need to do what they can to keep the doors open for
the benefit of the patient. Pay cuts, bonuses+/-, benefits, hiring
freezes, capital freezes are all looming on the horizon. If at all
possible, fight them, but do not exhaust yourselves. It's a new world -
and it will sometimes be ugly. Blame the Democrats or the Republicans,
Wall Street or Main Street, but figure out how to adapt. 

OK. So.... What can we do to ride out the storm? 

1. Find a marketing advantage. POLs and certain smaller private labs
cannot remain the "bargain" they once were. My lab is expectiing to get
back some of what we lost to them a few years back. We are the only game
in our town.... Why are we losing business to labs in other areas? It
should all be staying here.

2. Become politically active. Demand better from your elected officials
and from your professional organizations that are lobbyists(sp). If they
can't do the job, use your vote or your membership fees to fire them OR
run for office yourself. Become an activist in your professional

3. Maintain high standards. Cut-backs and performance improvement need
not automatically equate to less quality. I hate it when people assume
that shaving a couple of minutes must necessitate poor cutting. How
close to borderline is your current quality if this is your attitude.
Yes, that was snarky, but think about it. 

4. Remember the mantra of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe: DON'T
PANIC. When you are caught up in a panic mentality, thinking and problem
solving suffer. We need our heads in the game if we are going to come
out on top.
(How's that for my best Zig Zigler impersonation)?

Above all - have a nice day and thank you for letting me vent a bit. 


-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Bruce
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:37 AM
To: 'histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu'
Subject: [Histonet] Pa Leeeze

                How disappointing. Looking for constructive ways to keep
my lab open and I get political stuff. Did you all go crazy in the 80's
with Ronald Ray-gun and the DRG's? Too young?

Bruce Gapinsk HT (ASCP)
Chief Histologist
Marin Medical Laboratories
PathGroup SF


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