2014 Laboratory Business Conference

A workshop for leveraging your laboratory's value proposition

June 18–20, 2014
Demonstrating Lab Value: Why Your Lab Is More Important Than You Think

Demonstrating Lab Value: Why Your Lab Is More Important Than You Think

The sluggish economic recovery coupled with the impact of national healthcare reform requires hospitals and health systems to implement cost-cutting measures, face significant reductions in payer reimbursement, improve patient outcomes, and manage population health initiatives. To date, more questions than answers exist, but key answers may reside in the often-overlooked clinical and anatomic pathology laboratory.

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Laboratories have a unique opportunity to make a substantive impact within hospitals and across the health system as an increasing number of organizations are looking to integrate services and operate more efficiently. The value of the laboratory and its contribution to both short- and long-term sustainability of health systems are centrally important in the era of new care delivery and reimbursement models.

The ARUP Consultative Services team has designed a conference that will equip your laboratory leadership with the tools necessary to position your organization to successfully navigate uncertain times. Attendees will hear from industry leaders as they address the value of successful laboratory and outreach operations, why investing in a cutting-edge information system is essential, and how to leverage the power of laboratory data.

Don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity to hear from industry leaders and network with your peers.

Conference learning objectives
  • Reinvest capital to accelerate development and growth of the lab.
  • Utilize data to position the lab with ACO development.
  • Leverage laboratory data to improve clinical decision making.
  • Discover opportunities in a well-established outreach sales strategy.
  • Assess risk in laboratory business decisions.
  • Understand the importance of utilization management in a risk-sharing model.
  • Craft a laboratory value proposition that delivers an effective message across the organization.

Laboratory Business Conference Schedule

Day 1—Wednesday, June 18
8:00 a.m.Shuttle Conference Attendees to ARUP
8:30 a.m.Welcome & Coffee/Tea
9:00 a.m.The Value of the Laboratory: Invest or Outsource?
9:45 a.m.Break
10:00 a.m.Financial Models for Building Laboratory Business
11:00 a.m.Lab Tour
12:00 p.m.Break
12:15 p.m.Lunch
1:00 p.m.Implementing a Diagnostic Utilization Management Program
2:00 p.m.Break
2:15 p.m.Laboratory Consolidation Within a Health System – A Winning Strategy!
3:15 p.m.Panel Discussion
4:00 p.m.Shuttle back to Hotel
5:00 p.m.Meet in Hotel lobby to walk to networking event at Squatters
5:15 p.m.Networking Event at Squatters

Day 2—Thursday, June 19
8:00 a.m.Shuttle to ARUP
8:30 a.m.Networking & Coffee/Tea
9:00 a.m.Who Will Tell Your Story?
10:00 a.m.Break
10:15 a.m.Creating Buy-In for an Effective Lab Utilization Management Program
11:30 a.m.Lunch at Red Butte
1:00 p.m.Laboratory Outreach Sales
2:00 p.m.Break
2:15 p.m.Using Laboratory Information to Change Physician-Ordering Patterns
3:15 p.m.Facilitated Round Table/Panel Discussion
4:00 p.m.Shuttle to Hotel

Day 3—Friday, June 20
8:00 a.m.Shuttle to ARUP
8:30 a.m.Networking & Coffee/Tea
9:00 a.m.Don’t Look Far from Home to Grow Your Outreach Business
10:00 a.m.Value proposition workshop
11:30 a.m.Closing Remarks & Adjourn

Laboratory Business Conference Sessions

Don’t Look Far from Home to Grow Your Outreach Business
Presented by: Robert L. Challender, MBA


Large health systems are complex, multi-site organizations generally comprised of numerous hospitals, system-owned physician practices, independent practices, and multiple laboratories. Laboratory business that should be staying in-house has a tendency to stray outside the health system’s laboratories, leaking thousands of tests and potentially millions of dollars to other lab service providers. There are various reasons as to why lab-leakage occurs, including inadequate customer support by the system’s lab(s); poor phlebotomy-site access for patients; managed-care contractual issues; and test menu offerings that do not meet physicians’ needs and/or expectations.

During this session attendees will:
  • Learn how to utilize EHR/CPOE systems to glean information about potential lab business leakage
  • How to approach ordering clinicians to end the flow of business to outside providers
  • Manage a multidisciplinary project involving information systems, referring clinicians, and laboratory and financial professionals

Implementing a Diagnostic Utilization Management Program
Presented by: Joe Miles, MT(ASCP), MHS


As healthcare moves away from payment for volume toward payment for performance and quality outcomes, hospitals and healthcare systems are under tremendous pressure to reduce waste and assist physicians in becoming more efficient and achieving the best possible patient outcomes while controlling and reducing total cost of care.

Establishing an early and accurate diagnosis is the first step in reaching these goals. This involves effectively utilizing diagnostic tools to ensure that the right diagnostic test is performed on the right patient at the right time.

Progressive organizations are preparing for the shift to greater risk-sharing reimbursement arrangements by developing diagnostic utilization-management programs that focus on test formulary development, institutional policies that support the implementation of the formulary, and a governance structure to manage the formulary program.

During this session attendees will:
  • Why healthcare entities are evolving into value-based organizations
  • A process for developing an institutional, diagnostic, utilization-management program
  • Methods to successfully develop and implement test formularies
  • Strategies for creating and maintaining cultural change through the implementation of a utilization-management program
  • Examples of financial benefits experienced with the adoption of diagnostic formularies

Laboratory Consolidation Within a Health System: A Winning Strategy
Presented by: Priscilla R. Cherry, MBA, MT(ASCP)


Healthcare reform and economics are driving dramatic changes in healthcare delivery, forcing health systems to monitor growth and optimize efficiency, quality, and access. Pathology and laboratory medicine are perfectly positioned to address new healthcare reform by providing better, more effective care while reining in rising costs.

Information from laboratory tests enables early detection and targeted therapy that can change the course of costly and damaging disease, including cancer, HIV, and diabetes. Health systems benefit substantially if providers institute care that is consistent with consensus clinical guidelines, particularly for costly chronic diseases. Likewise, continuity of care is necessary within the healthcare community to appropriately manage patient care. Laboratories must be involved in care continuity, working seamlessly with health system to ensure that efforts aren’t duplicated and relevant clinical information is provided.

During this session attendees will:
  • Why Mission Health is consolidating and integrating its laboratory services
  • How to begin the consolidation process
  • About opportunities for improved efficiencies
  • What Mission Health learned about its outreach program and preparing for growth

The Value of the Laboratory: Invest or Outsource?
Presented by: Suzanne Carasso, MBA, MT(ASCP)


The anemic economic recovery, in combination with the impact of national healthcare reform, is putting pressure on the healthcare industry to navigate reductions in reimbursement, implement cost-cutting initiatives, and improve patient outcomes and quality of life. Changing the way healthcare is delivered and paid for is the new imperative.

Laboratories have a unique opportunity to substantially impact both short- and long-term sustainability of hospitals and health systems. Many organizations still view the laboratory as a commodity. Some systems are selling laboratory and outreach operations to private equity firms, joint venture capitalists, or national laboratories in exchange for an immediate infusion of money. As such, laboratories that fail to demonstrate value to the organization face an uncertain future.

During this session attendees will:
  • Identify leading industry trends driven by healthcare reform
  • Evaluate the impact of these trends on hospitals, health systems, and laboratories
  • Discuss the value of the laboratory to hospitals, physicians, and patients
  • Define specific ways in which the laboratory provides value

Value Proposition Workshop
Presented by: ARUP Consultative Services Team


The objective of the value proposition exercise is to identify the key elements in a value message and construct language that conveys the message clearly and persuasively.

During this interactive exercise, participants will learn how to:
  • Identify specific strengths inherent in lab services—how lab services meet the needs of patients, physicians, and payers
  • List service differentiators for individual labs—how each lab is different and exceeds the service levels of its competitors
  • Understand the goals the audience has for lab services—what language or terms do they use when they describe what they need from lab services
  • Organize individual “stories” into brief, concise descriptors that match audience expectations
  • State a value proposition in a three-minute “elevator speech”

Financial Models for Building Laboratory Business
Presented by: Robert Schmidt, MD, PhD, MBA


Laboratory leaders are increasingly faced with the challenge of securing existing business and building new business while working under budget and reimbursement constraints. In many hospitals, the laboratory administrative staff does not have access to financial reports necessary to demonstrate profitability or make informed business decisions. In addition, lack of experience with financial-modeling tools prevents managers from applying risk analysis to market opportunity to fully understand and maximize revenue potential. As such, opportunities for growth may be suboptimal or missed altogether.

In this session, Dr. Schmidt will present cutting-edge techniques that incorporate risk, facilitate the comparison of multiple alternatives, and provide insight into laboratory business decisions. In addition to instruction on how to build a financial model using Microsoft Excel and Palisade Decision Tools, attendees will learn how to use decision trees and simulation models to evaluate laboratory revenue growth opportunities.

During this interactive exercise, participants will learn how to:
  • Determine when advanced modeling techniques are likely to be helpful
  • Explain how simulation models are used to incorporate risk analysis in business decisions
  • Build simple models using Excel and add-in tools to analyze business decisions using decision trees and simulation

Laboratory Outreach Sales
Presented by: Richard Reitz, BS


Competition within the laboratory industry is fiercer than ever. Successful companies competing in the marketplace utilize sales representatives to grow their business, and, to stay in the game, sales professionals must actively sell their company’s services.

What exactly do sales professionals in the lab industry do, and how do they effectively grow market share and increase revenue? What should companies look for to hire the right sales professional for the job? What activities and strategies should sales people focus on and which should they avoid?

This session focuses on an effective approach to selling laboratory outreach.

During this interactive exercise, participants will learn how to:
  • Effectively set sales goals and measure progress
  • Understand how to properly identify prospective clients
  • Learn to recognize client needs and wants through precise questions
  • Accurately position their laboratory’s services

Using Laboratory Information to Change Physician-Ordering Patterns
Presented by: Ran Whitehead, MBA


Clinical laboratories must do more than simply deliver lab test results quickly and accurately; they must provide physicians with meaningful and actionable information that assists them in improving patient outcomes and controlling the cost of care. The laboratory is essentially an information company that happens to perform laboratory testing. By capturing lab data in a robust data warehouse, utilizing business intelligence tools to facilitate analyses, and developing customized reporting tools that allow physicians to benchmark their performance against others, PeaceHealth has effectively harnessed and leveraged its lab data as a way to deliver greater healthcare value.

During this session attendees will:
  • The components that need to be in place to leverage lab data to change test-ordering patterns
  • How to develop lab physician scorecards to monitor and benchmark performance
  • How to utilize lab data and reports as a differentiator to sell your lab services

Creating Buy-In for an Effective Lab Utilization Management Program
Presented by: Ila Singh, MD, PhD


Changing physician test-ordering behavior in a large, academic medical center with more than 1,000 physicians can be a daunting prospect requiring strong leadership and support at the highest levels of the organization. By assembling critical key stakeholders, performing in-depth analysis of inpatient test utilization, and developing a strong governance structure, Mount Sinai Hospital is making appropriate test ordering part of its culture. While the lab and pathologists need to play a critical support role in the development of a system-wide lab utilization management program, the involvement of ordering clinicians is essential to creating effective test-ordering policies, a lab formulary, and IT system changes that make it easy to order the right tests and difficult to order the wrong ones.

During this session attendees will:
  • How to use test-utilization analysis to create buy-in for a lab utilization management program
  • What roles and responsibilities the lab utilization management steering committee should assume
  • Who needs to be part of the lab utilization management program
  • How to engage clinicians in the development of a test formulary
  • What role pathologists should play in the development of a lab utilization management program

Who Will Tell Your Story?
Presented by: Sterling T. Bennett, MD


Laboratory Business Conference Faculty

Robert L. Challender, MBA

Robert L. Challender, MBA

Chief Operating Officer, Department of Pathology and Laboratory, Penn Medicine

Bob Challender is the chief operating officer for Penn Medicine’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He joined Penn Medicine in 2008 and currently directs the clinical and business operations for all the divisions of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Medicine’s flagship hospital. He is also the corporate director of laboratory services, leading all laboratory system-wide integration projects for the University of Pennsylvania’s Health System. Prior to his appointment at Penn, Mr. Challender was a senior financial executive for more than 13 years at two publically traded drug development companies, where he oversaw all areas of financial, commercial, and operational analysis, as well as real estate management functions across more than 15 countries.

Mr. Challender attended Rutgers University where he received a bachelor’s in computer science and an MBA, with a specialty in finance. He successfully completed the Wharton School’s curriculum in the Academic Medicine Leadership Program.

Priscilla R. Cherry, MBA, MT(ASCP)

Priscilla R. Cherry, MBA, MT(ASCP)

System Executive Director, Laboratory Services, Mission Health

Priscilla Cherry is the system executive director of laboratory services for the Mission Health System in Asheville, NC, a nonprofit regional referral system for Western North Carolina. Prior to her current position, Ms. Cherry was the president of laboratory services for Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a director of consulting for Premier, Inc., and a regional laboratory administrator for Kaiser Permanente. She is an experienced executive in laboratory medicine with more than 30 years of achievement as a healthcare professional. She is adept at providing continuity and consistency of laboratory care across complex environments and is skilled in supporting and encouraging physician relationships.

Ms. Cherry received her bachelor’s degree in medical technology from the Medical University of South Carolina and her MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. She holds a Lean Certification from the University of Michigan School of Engineering.

Ran Whitehead

Ran Whitehead, MBA

Chief Executive Officer/Chief Mission Officer, PeaceHealth Laboratories

Ran Whitehead is the chief executive officer and chief mission officer at PeaceHealth Laboratories, which provides comprehensive laboratory services throughout Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, with specialty testing across the United States. Mr. Whitehead’s knowledgeable and forward-thinking leadership has empowered the company’s reputation for technical and clinical excellence, collaborative partnerships, and innovative programs. With more than 40 years of experience in the laboratory industry, Mr. Whitehead has led myriad successful laboratory initiatives like the distance learning program, which was later adopted by laboratories across the country. He received his MBA from Duke University and his bachelor’s in medical technology from Michigan State University.

Richard Reitz, BS

Richard Reitz, BS

Chief Operation Officer at Premier Cardiovascular Consultants, LLC

Mr. Reitz has more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience, with a focus in diagnostics sales and marketing, practice development, process improvement, and employee development. He is currently the chief operating officer at Premier Cardiovascular Consultants and the Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Alliance, working with companies like Boston Heart Diagnostics, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Medtronic to design and implement practice improvement in the area of cardiovascular disease.

Mr. Reitz has worked with medical diagnostics companies such as Quest Diagnostics and Dominion Diagnostics, as well as biotech companies and hospital systems. Prior to starting his own consulting company, he worked for Nichols Institute (now part of Quest Diagnostics) as a sales executive and trainer responsible for sales growth in the San Francisco and San Diego markets. He specializes in strategy, training, and education for hospital systems engaged in outreach services. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Sterling T. Bennett, MD

Sterling T. Bennett, MD

Medical Director, Central Laboratory and Chair, Department of Pathology, Urban Central Region Intermountain Healthcare

Dr. Bennett is currently the medical director of the Central Laboratory and the chair of the Department of Pathology, Urban Central Region, at Intermountain Healthcare, as well as a volunteer adjunct associate professor of pathology at the University of Utah. He also serves as vice-president of Utah Pathology Services, Inc., and as president of the Compass Group. Dr. Bennett received an MD at the University of Utah and a master of science in health informatics at the University of Minnesota, where he completed a residency in clinical pathology, as well as fellowships in medical informatics and blood banking. His areas of special interest include hemostasis, quality assurance, and process improvement.

Ila Singh, MD, PhD

Ila Singh, MD, PhD

Vice Chair, Clinical Pathology and Medical Director, Center for Clinical Laboratories, Mount Sinai Health System

Dr. Singh received her MD from the University of Bombay and a PhD from Yale University. She was a Jane Coffin Childs fellow at Stanford University and a clinical pathology resident at Columbia University, as well as a faculty member at Columbia University and the University of Utah, a medical director at ARUP Laboratories, and a director of clinical laboratories at the Helen Hayes Hospital. In 2011, she joined Mount Sinai Medical Center as the vice chair of clinical pathology and director of clinical laboratories.

Robert Schmidt, MD, PhD, MBA

Robert Schmidt, MD, PhD, MBA

Medical Director, Informatics, ARUP Laboratories

Dr. Schmidt is a medical director of informatics at ARUP Laboratories and an assistant professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, as well as a director of the Center for Effective Medical Testing and medical director of the Clinical Laboratory at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital. Prior to completing medical school, Dr. Schmidt was an assistant professor of operations management at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and an associate professor of clinical operations management at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. Dr. Schmidt’s medical research focuses on diagnostic testing, specifically utilizing his business background to complement medical knowledge in performing evidence-based evaluation of diagnostic testing. His research includes comparative effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and utilization analyses of diagnostic tests, as well as operations and technology management related to diagnostic testing. He is certified in clinical pathology by the American Board of Pathology.

Leigh Huynh, MBA

Leigh Huynh, MBA

Consultant, ARUP Laboratories

Ms. Huynh is an accomplished business professional with more than 10 years of healthcare-related experience. She has worked closely with ARUP clients for eight years and has extensive experience in business-to-business development, market research, and demographic analysis. In her current consultant position on the Consultative Services team in ARUP’s Business Development Department, Ms. Huynh is responsible for working with hospitals and health systems to grow laboratory business services. She provides clients with up-to-date market information; analyzes pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical functions of laboratory services; and defines revenue opportunities. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and a master of business administration from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

Suzanne Carasso, MBA, MT(ASCP)

Suzanne Carasso, MBA, MT(ASCP)

Director, Business Solutions Consulting, ARUP Laboratories

Ms. Carasso, the director of Business Solutions Consulting at ARUP, is a medical technologist and business professional with more than 25 years of technical and management experience in the healthcare industry, with a primary focus market analysis, operations improvement, and business planning for hospital laboratories and health systems. She is responsible for working with ARUP clients to develop laboratory business services or enhance existing business units. To date, she has worked with more than 30 hospitals and health systems to analyze market opportunity and develop business plans designed to inform and engage executive leaders and secure capital investment for laboratory business operations. Ms. Carasso received a bachelor of science in medical technology from the University of Tennessee Center for Health Science and her master of business administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Casey Leavitt, MBA

Casey Leavitt, MBA

Program Director, Consultative Services Business Development, ARUP Laboratories

Ms. Leavitt has worked in the healthcare industry for 19 years and is currently the consultative services program director at ARUP Laboratories. Prior to her position at ARUP, Ms. Leavitt was the referral development director for University of Utah Health Care, where her primary responsibility was to develop and strengthen relationships with the university’s regional referring providers and facilities. She was also the director of managed-care contracting for the University of Utah Medical Group, where she was responsible for negotiating contracts, worth more than $220 million in annual revenue, with commercial payers on behalf of over 850 primary and specialty care physicians. Ms. Leavitt has worked for a number of healthcare startup organizations and began her career at Intermountain Health Care, implementing several successful projects focused on operational efficiency, patient satisfaction, and quality improvement. She received her MBA from the University of Utah and her bachelor’s degree from Utah State University.

Scott Blaylock, MBA

Scott Blaylock, MBA

Associate Consultant, ARUP Laboratories

Mr. Blaylock is an accomplished business professional with more than five years of sales and marketing experience. He joined ARUP in April 2012 as a consultant on the Consultative Services team in ARUP’s Business Development Department. With extensive experience in business-to-business development and market research, he uses both his current skills and past experience to thrive in the ever-changing healthcare environment. His current responsibilities include updating clients on fluctuating market conditions and analyzing pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical laboratory-service functions. Mr. Blaylock received a bachelor of science in marketing from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business and a master of business administration from Western Governors University.

Joe Miles, MS

Joe Miles, MT(ASCP), MHS

Senior Consultant Business Development, ARUP Laboratories

Joe Miles, senior consultant for business development at ARUP Laboratories, has more than 30 years of management experience in laboratory operations and outreach development. In his current position, Mr. Miles provides ARUP clients with operational assessments, process and infrastructure improvement, utilization-management development, and strategies for outreach business development. Mr. Miles is also a leading contributor to the development of ARUP business strategies in response to new healthcare delivery models emerging from the national healthcare reform movement.

Mr. Miles received his bachelor’s degree and medical technology training at the University of Colorado and earned a master’s degree in healthcare systems from the University of Denver. He has presented at national meetings and written regularly for industry publications. He has been active for more than a decade in lobbying congressional offices on issues affecting the laboratory industry and was a founding board member of the CLMA PAC.

Registration Information

Attendance will be limited to the first 26 registered participants. The conference registration fee is $250 and will include: Wednesday night’s networking event, training materials, lunch on Wednesday and Thursday, snacks throughout the conference, and transportation between the Hilton at Salt Lake City Center and ARUP Laboratories, as well as to the airport and hotel immediately following the conclusion of the conference.

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Hotel Information

The Hilton at Salt Lake City Center will be hosting our conference attendees. The Hilton has guaranteed a rate of $142 per night for single and double occupancy, which can be extended to include the three days before and after the conference dates, subject to availability. This rate includes a complimentary breakfast buffet, in-room wireless internet connection, and overnight self-parking. Attendees are responsible for making their own hotel reservations. Reservations may be made via the exclusive group online reservation link or by calling (800) HILTONS [(800) 445-8667]. To ensure room availability, reservations must be made prior to May 23, 2014.

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P.A.C.E.® and CEU Florida credits can be earned
for attending this conference.