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How to Leverage Clinical Lab Data to Benefit Population Health

by Heidi Bullman

Just a few years ago the most important parts of healthcare were doctors, patients, and medicine. Today, there’s another element that’s fundamental to delivering better healthcare outcomes: clinical lab data. While clinical lab data is powering all kinds of advances in healthcare, one area it can be of particular benefit is in improving population health. By analyzing clinical lab data, expensive episodes of care could be prevented, and readmission rates could be reduced. Data is also becoming increasingly important for patients so they can become more engaged in their care and follow treatment plans successfully.

While the use cases and benefits are clear, what’s the secret to making this data more accessible, digestible, and useable?

That’s simple. The key is to combine data from insurance claims with clinical lab data to unlock critical information by comparing past data with projected.

“When we talk about using data better, and specifically clinical lab data, we think it can actually drive patient identification [and] stratification and then clinical-rich data [and] timely data can improve measurement,” explained Frank Jackson, EVP, Payer Markets for Prognos during a webinar on the power of clinical lab data in population health. Joining Prognos on the webinar was Virginia Gurley, Chief Consulting Physician with HGS.

Simply stated the combination of claims and clinical lab data are able to provide more actionable insights for better results, increased accuracy and reliability, and more timely and accurate insights – all of which combined have led to 15 percent more conditions found.

Jackson described “where claims data and RX data can tell you what happened in the past, lab data tells you why it happened and what could, or should, happen in the near future – so there’s tremendous insight in [those data sets]. It takes work to unlock it but it’s a tremendous clinical resource [for valued-based insights and helps] providers in what they’re doing,”

It’s clear that by combining both claims with clinical lab data, there’s a multitude of opportunities presented to improve population health outcomes through value-based care arrangements.

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