Volume XXVII
July 2022

Full Focus: Medical Laboratory Professionals Wage and Morale Report

Earlier this year, Lighthouse Lab Services conducted it's first survey of wage and morale among Medical Laboratory Professionals, gathering responses from more than 1,100 individuals across the industry. Our results, which are now available in the report linked below, show a majority of our inaugural respondents are feeling overworked and are performing in understaffed labs, despite most receiving modest bumps in compensation when compared to 2021 salaries.

Overall, our results show an industry that continues to struggle to replace retiring lab professionals at a sustainable rate while also facing challenges created by the recent pandemic. Although many are receiving annual compensation increases of 1% to 5%, a number of respondents indicated better salaries could help to alleviate the recruitment problem.
1. Webinar: Lighthouse Analyzes Wage and Morale Survey Data

Join us Wednesday, July 27, at 12 p.m. EDT as Lighthouse's Tara Luellen, Vice President of Lab Director Services, and Maggie Morrissey, Director of Recruiting and Staffing, discuss and analyze current job market trends and provide their perspective on our survey results. This data is highly relevant for all lab professionals, ranging from bench-level staff and managers to owners and decision-makers, and can be used to inform future career or staffing decisions.

2. Case Study: Navigating MUE Denial Adjustments

Medically Unlikely Edits (MUEs) are used by Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), to reduce the improper payment rate for Part B claims.

During a recent audit, our RCM Consulting team identified that although the appropriate coding and units had been submitted by our client's biller, a number of denials for MUEs were being adjusted off instead of appealed properly with the appropriate modifier/documentation.

3. The Most Cost-Effective Hire for Your Clinical Lab

Having a director for your high-complexity CLIA lab is a requirement, but did you know that a part-time lab director could be an appropriate option and significantly shrink your overhead costs? When is it acceptable to hire a part-time lab director instead of a full-time lab director?

In the current market, a full-time lab director typically commands more than $200,000 in annual salary, but some lab directors earn as much as $350,000-$400,000 per year. On the other hand, a part-time lab director is generally compensated at a fraction of that cost.

Deep Dive: Expressing Concerns Surrounding the VALID Act
After years gestating in Congress, the VALID Act may soon finally be set to receive a vote this fall after recently being added to a broader FDA legislative package.

But despite some support from the lab industry, the act, which would create a new risk-based framework for regulating lab-developed tests (LDTs), has drawn considerable criticism from several lab advocacy groups, including the National Independent Laboratory Association (NILA), American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC), and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), to name a few.

Read on in the blog below to learn more about the VALID Act, positions on the legislation from across the industry, and action steps you can take to express concerns about these new regulations before it's too late.
Jon Harol - President - LLS
VALID adds hurdles and bureaucracy to new laboratory testing coming to market. It slows the process down and makes it more expensive, especially for smaller labs.

-- Jon Harol, President, Lighthouse Lab Services
View From the Lab: How the VALID Act Could Harm Patient Access to Life-Saving Tests

For Dr. Varsha Meghnani, PhD, MB(ASCP), TC(NRCC), a technical consultant for Lighthouse who’s served as a lab director for high-complexity CLIA labs since 2017, it’s clear the intention behind VALID is to protect public health by ensuring patients are receiving quality lab tests. However, she says she’s concerned the act in its current form may have an overall adverse effect by hampering innovation. Hear her full thoughts in our latest video:

1. The American Association of Clinical Chemistry Scientific Meeting

July 24-28, 2022, in Chicago, Ill.

  • Be sure to stop by Booth 4322 to grab some Lighthouse swag!
  • Lighthouse President Jon Harol will hold a press conference on the results of our recent industry wage and morale survey on Wednesday, July 27, at 2 p.m. CDT.
  • Click here to view a full agenda.
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The Lab Insighter is a monthly publication for Lab Owners and Decision Makers.