med fusion LLC
January 21, 2013 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
As an Integrated, Advanced Laboratory and Clinical Trials Service Organization, med fusion LLC is providing support to Physicians across Dallas and Fort Worth as well as Medical Centers across Texas
About med fusion LLC:
Headquartered in Lewisville,
Texas, med fusion is an integrated, advanced laboratory and clinical trials
service organization providing support to healthcare providers, biotech and
pharmaceutical companies through a patient-centric support model. The
company, in support of pharma and medical centers, is helping to advance
clarity in medicine by providing clinically-focused service levels, more
targeted diagnostics designed to improve a patient’s episode of care, and
enhanced system efficiencies. Based in a 130,000-square foot facility, the
company, while preparing to move into clinical trials, has a fully
operational clinical laboratory, with one of the broadest service offerings
under one roof in the state, including routine and reference lab testing,
anatomic pathology services and testing, and molecular diagnostics. med
fusion currently has over 350 well-trained employees, and a dedicated lab
staff with an average of 16 years of experience.
med fusion LLC
South State Highway 121 Business, Suite 1100
Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published –January 21, 2013
Mr. Laughman: We provide a variety of services to medical centers and will be providing additional services to pharmaceutical firms. We are currently focused on providing laboratory testing services as well as approaches to assist with the integration of laboratory information across medical centers. As part of that service, we have a very strong focus on precision medicine, which is sometimes referred to in the lay press as Personalized Medicine.
CEOCFO: What types of services are you providing today?
Mr. Laughman: Presently, we are providing a very broad laboratory testing menu, supported by professional consultation and information systems. We are presently supporting physicians across Dallas and Fort Worth, and medical centers across the state.
CEOCFO: Would you tell us more about independent labs?
Mr. Laughman: We are located in Dallas, Texas. We have a regional service footprint. We are beginning to reach out into Louisiana and Arkansas and Oklahoma.
CEOCFO: What are some of the advantages to patients and hospitals for using med fusion as opposed to the big names?
Mr. Laughman: I think the fact that our service levels are more clinically driven is key. Historically, there has been a lot of work done focusing on economies of scale and the big laboratories have been successful in executing a production-oriented strategy. Our view is that the lab is an important part of the healthcare delivery system and as such, the focus needs to be across the entire episode of care so that the services and the service levels that we provide are designed to support efficient patient care and help reduce total episode of care costs, not just the price of a particular test. In that context, it is important to realize that the laboratory represents about two to three percent of the healthcare spend in the United States, but it generates about 60% to 70% of the objective data supporting clinical decision-making. What is important is that the lab information is as accurate as possible, as targeted as possible, and delivered in a manner that is consistent with clinical workflow to ensure patient care progresses efficiently. In other words, the lab is a key healthcare provider that influences significant downstream costs and patient outcomes.
Would you tell us more about the newer services, which you will be offering?
CEOCFO: Where are you in the planning stages?
Mr. Laughman: We are operational. We are growing every day and expanding our testing menu on a regular basis. Things are progressing well.
CEOCFO: Is the majority of the medical community looking to make use of this information?
Mr. Laughman: I think everyone in healthcare sees precision medicine as holding great promise. It will require time to fully understand the benefits. None of us want healthcare to be fad oriented, so it requires a careful assessment and expansion. I think the adoption rates actually are good and I think that they will get better. We intend, as part of our services, to participate in the clinical validation of these diagnostics to help identify where they really do demonstrate an enhanced outcome and/or reduced episode of care costs.
CEOCFO: Do you see the healthcare system changes to be advantageous for med fusion?
Mr. Laughman: I think it is hard for the government to effectively drive the changes that need to occur across healthcare. It’s important to let healthcare reengineer itself. I think this technology will be a very helpful part of the solution. I am clearly not advocating the status quo; I just don’t feel that it can be driven from a regulatory perspective.
CEOCFO: What do you see as most promising in tests in the personalized area?
Mr. Laughman: I see this new science helping to narrow some of the art in the practice of medicine, which will benefit patients, the healthcare system, and it will benefit our economy.
CEOCFO: You have added to your staff for the new plans; is the team complete or are you still looking to make additions?
Mr. Laughman: We are still growing and adding staff on a regular basis. We anticipate growing and expanding for a fair amount of time. We feel strongly that this as a very attractive model and one that will, because of the value we create for our clients and their patients, have a significant growth opportunity. We formed in 2009, and at that time, we had six employees. Today we have about 350. We are adding staff nearly every week.
CEOCFO: How do you keep up with the growth and given the need to hire on an ongoing basis, how do you ensure you are getting the best people?
Mr. Laughman: We do this with a lot of hard work by a lot of people. In terms of ensuring quality and our patient focus, all of our staff understands our approach, our vision and mission. We are fortunate to have attracted staff that also shares these values!
CEOCFO: As you go into Louisiana, for example, will you open a new facility or will you reach out to hospitals and doctors in a new territory?
Mr. Laughman: We will be implementing two approaches. We will want to work with local providers to help them support their community. We are here to complement their services. We have located our facility close to the DFW Airport, which makes the logistics for getting specimens to us straight forward. First and foremost, we want to work with our clients to enhance their local presence and to help them help their patients.
CEOCFO: When you approach prospective clients do they understand the difference in med fusion easily? What is the ‘aha’ moment?
Mr. Laughman: The main discussion point that we have is to try to make the distinction between the services that we provide and those provided by large commercial laboratories who take work out of the community, often testing that our clients can easily do. There is a significant difference between the community healthcare environment, which we are a part of and commercial laboratories. The laboratory industry (commercial labs) tend to think of laboratory testing as a commodity. The economics of scale that they seek benefits their organizations, but it comes at the community’s expense. We are here to support the community practice of laboratory medicine and help medical centers and physicians help patients.
CEOCFO: Should patients be aware that there is a difference and how can you reach them?
Mr. Laughman: We are trying to come up with ways to get that message out in a responsible way. First, it is important for medical centers, if they are not already, to start delivering services outside of their walls into their community. Once that happens, patients will understand and experience improved service levels that will enhance their care. They will get their test results much quicker and they can feel more confident in that result just because it has been performed in their community by responsible professionals. The majority of specimens will stay local; bad things can happen to a specimen in shipment. Everybody works hard to prevent that from happening, but based on probability, things are going to occur. The more testing that can stay in the community and keep the amount handling down the better. Both quality and service levels improve which enhances efficiency and service.
CEOCFO: How is business today?
Good though it can always be better. We are growing month over month and
our rate of growth is increasing quarter over quarter. We are establishing
our regional service footprint and getting a terrific amount of interest in
the services that we provide.
CEOCFO: Does med fusion have the funding needed to move forward?
Mr. Laughman: Our initial funding round was closed in August of 2009. Our founding partners are the Baylor Healthcare System, Texas Oncology, McKesson Specialty Care | US Oncology and the pathology group that supports Baylor, which is Pathologist Bio-Medical Laboratories. From the beginning, we planned a second round of funding to expand the operations into the clinical trials arena that I mentioned earlier. We are just now gearing up for that second funding round, which we hope to have closed by the second quarter of 2013.
CEOCFO: Why should the business and investment community pay attention to med fusion?
Because of the quality of services we provide, our focus on supporting
community medicine, amplified by our very strong focus on precision medicine
and laboratory medicine as a way of improving patient outcomes and the
episode of care cost. We offer a very strong value proposition that
benefits healthcare systems and patients.
“The focus needs to be across the entire episode of care so that the services and the service levels that we provide are designed to support efficient patient care and help reduce total episode of care costs, not just the price of a particular test. What is important is that the lab information is as accurate as possible, as targeted as possible, and delivered in a manner that is consistent with clinical workflow to ensure patient care progresses efficiently. I see this new science helping to narrow some of the art in the practice of medicine, which will benefit patients, the healthcare system, and it will benefit our economy. Bad things can happen to a specimen in shipment. Things are going to occur. The more testing that can stay in the community and keep the amount handling down the better. Both quality and service levels improve which enhances efficiency and service.”- R. Keith Laughman
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