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Independent Study: Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. Services Lead to Cost Savings of 23% and Significantly Improved Health Outcomes After Two Years

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Advanced cardiometabolic testing paired with follow-up health management from Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. has resulted in a 23 percent decrease in a patient’s overall healthcare costs and an improved lipid profile in just two years, according to a new independent study published recently in Population Health Management.

“Our company was founded on the basis of keeping people healthy as a way to prevent and reverse disease and better control healthcare costs, and to see proof of our model in a research study is rewarding,” said Tonya Mallory, President and CEO of HDL, Inc. “The findings from this report also suggest that providers and payers that are entering shared savings initiatives should consider the role that ancillary service providers with comprehensive care models such as HDL, Inc. can bring to both manage costs and improve the health of patients.”

Founded in 2009, HDL, Inc. offers comprehensive laboratory testing for cardiometabolic disease, which includes cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and related conditions. The advanced biomarker tests are able to identify at-risk patients years or even decades prior to disease progression – before an adverse event occurs or complex, invasive procedures are required. In addition, the company offers clinical health consulting to patients.

Study overview

The study, conducted over three years by Wilmington, Del.-based HealthCore, followed 229 patients who received HDL, Inc.’s advanced cardiovascular testing and wellness services compared to 214 individuals in a control group that did not receive the company’s testing or clinical health consulting but were carefully matched by a host of risk factors. Results showed that an overall decrease in the average monthly cost of care for HDL, Inc. patients was related to a statistically significant decrease in costs of both inpatient and ambulatory care. During the two-year follow-up period, the average total monthly cost of care was 23% less ($150 per patient) than the control group.

Cost savings

Most dramatically, HDL, Inc. patients incurred significantly less costs for hospital inpatient and other outpatient services compared to the control group. There were no significant differences between the two patient cohorts in either pharmacy or laboratory costs, despite an enhanced use of statins and niacin in the HDL, Inc. group – a direct result of improved risk stratification and aggressive disease management in patients most likely to benefit.

Health outcomes

In addition to cost reductions, the rate of diabetic complications observed in the HDL, Inc. group was half that seen in the control group. Also, significantly greater improvements were observed in HDL, Inc. patients’ lipid markers (traditional cholesterol and triglycerides measures) compared to the control group, suggesting those individuals will experience fewer heart complications and presumably greater cost reductions in the future. By the end of the follow-up period, the average LDL (“bad”) cholesterol had been reduced to below 100 mg/dl, the level recommended by the American Heart Association for those with or at risk for heart disease. Improvements in several other cardiovascular risk markers such as lipoproteins and apolipoproteins were also observed in HDL, Inc. patients when follow-up testing values were compared to the initial screening.

Comprehensive care in patient-focused, cost-controlled delivery models

In an effort to reduce cost and improve quality, healthcare payers have enacted a number of incentives to motivate providers to focus their efforts on achieving better clinical outcomes and reducing the prevalence and progression of disease. New arrangements have thus evolved, including Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs), which redesign delivery processes and achieve quality and cost objectives.

“As healthcare leaders seek to improve outcomes and lower the cost of total care, this study clearly shows that clinical laboratory and health management providers play an important role in the coordination and design of patient care plans to achieve those goals,” said Mark Herzog, Senior Vice President of Corporate and Government Affairs. “Health Diagnostic Laboratory’s advanced testing and clinical health consulting can not only help people to improve their health over the long-term and reverse the progression of deadly diseases, it should also be viewed as a major piece of the puzzle when it comes to reducing costs across the global healthcare system.”

The study’s lead author was Steve Thompson, Associate Professor of Management at the University of Richmond. Co-authors were Stephen Varvel, HDL, Inc. Director of Clinical Trials; Dr. Szilard Voros, HDL, Inc. Chief Academic Officer; Dawn Thiselton, HDL, Inc. Senior Medical Writer and Editor; Shahrzad Grami, HDL, Inc. Data and Process Manager; Dr. Ralph Turner, HealthCore Senior Research Analyst; and John Barron, Executive Director of Health Plan Research at HealthCore. For a free download of the paper, The Changing Role of Ancillary Healthcare Service Providers: An Evaluation of Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc., visit Population Health Management at http://bit.ly/HDLROIstudy.

Source: PR Newswire