I have been in my current position since August 2014, though I have been with CompuGroup Medical (CGM) since 1987. Prior to joining CGM US, I was CEO at CompuGroup Medical in Turkey. I’ve spent the last 23 years running different business units and also served as CEO at several other companies.
University of Heidelberg, Master’s Degree in Physics
I have a passion and interest in new technology and am the “typical” early-adopter. I also enjoy photography, hiking, and scuba diving.
If you were explaining CompuGroup Medical to someone who is not familiar with the organization, how would you characterize its primary areas of expertise? What are the major categories of solutions that CGM provides for its customers? CompuGroup Medical US is the U.S. division of CompuGroup Medical AG—one of the leading eHealth companies in the world. Founded in 1987 with our global headquarters in Germany, we have more than 4,500 employees, are in 43 countries, serve more than 400,000 physicians, and work across all healthcare sectors. Our mission is to synchronize the systems of the healthcare industry with the mission of patient care, enabling providers to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients. In addition to our laboratory information system, CGM LABDAQ, we develop healthcare IT solutions to support the clinical and practice management activities that take place in physician practices, community health centers, and hospitals; practice management software; and productivity tools and EDI/reimbursement. We’ve also recently introduced to the market our robust business intelligence tool, CGM ANALYTICS, as well as CGM SAM, our Software Assisted Medicine solution.
What are the core elements of eHealth for clinical labs and the larger institutions they are part of? What is the minimum that any lab should have? It’s all about connectivity and seamless integration. It’s well recognized that laboratory data and test results are the largest factor used when providers make healthcare decisions for patients. As patient care and outcomes become increasingly important and more lab testing is done outside the walls of the hospital, the need for health systems to be aligned and connected is critical.
In order to run an efficient lab and ensure these outcomes for the patient, it’s imperative that results from EMRs are being sent and received in a streamlined and connected way. The lab requires test orders, administration data, and billing information about the patient and interfaces to ordering locations and various resulting locations to be efficient. A connection to an analytics module provides an extra advantage as labs can gain insight into their efficiency with turnaround times, QA failures, etc., to ensure their operation is running smoothly. Also, ACOs rely on this type of analytics data to determine if they’re meeting quality measures and population health goals.
What distinction would you draw between software that is necessary today for any lab, and options that are perhaps more appropriate for larger or specialized labs? How does CGM customize solutions for organizations with different needs? Different laboratories have very specific needs, based on their size and testing types. For example, physician office laboratories typically perform fairly basic testing with straightforward setups. Larger laboratories like reference labs or hospital labs require multiple work stations and analyzers to be set up, necessitating interfaces that can share and receive orders in real time to multiple offices and mobile applications. For specialized labs like toxicology and pain management laboratories, their unique workflows and specific customizable reports need a streamlined process. Often, larger institutions rely on additional software like data mining or analytics tools to understand and optimize their lab’s performance, population management tracking, and control, to meet regulatory needs for reimbursement and much more.
CGM LABDAQ offers different packages based on each lab’s specific size and workflow in order to ensure efficiency and maximize testing reimbursements. In today’s healthcare setting, it’s critical to have an LIS that not only maximizes the lab’s operational efficiency but offers the latest technology and is streamlined and customizable for each laboratory’s unique needs. What our customers value most about CGM LABDAQ, in addition to its ease of use and intuitive technology, is that it’s scalable and customizable to meet their individual needs, as opposed to some of the more standard dated systems with a one-size-fits-all mentality.
We hear increasingly that aggressive outreach is a key difference between more and less successful clinical labs. Why is effective outreach more important than ever? As reimbursements per test decrease, labs are making their money on higher volumes, unless they move into specialized testing like toxicology and pain management. However, those specialty areas require different workflows, patients, and resources. Higher volumes help offset the lower reimbursements to maintain profitability. In addition, as ACOs work to reduce stay times and readmission numbers, less inpatient testing is being performed at hospitals. Subsequently, they are also turning to outreach testing to provide lab testing to non-patients and generate revenue through other sources.
The new ICD-10 codes and other factors are adding challenges to reimbursement. How do CGM solutions address that? CGM LABDAQ is fully ICD-10 compliant, offering dual views for users to see ICD-9 and ICD-10 results, thus allowing for dual analysis and comparison. LABDAQ also offers medical necessity checking: you can set billing rules to help with reimbursements, and can do insurance/test routing, allowing automated rules in house and billing interfaces so billing goes directly from the LIS to the billing software to avoid missed billing. Within the CGM application is also a custom scanning feature that allows users to scan in insurance info so you have positive ID and positive insurance information to eliminate insurance mistakes.
What’s CGM LABDAQ’s future product plan and vision? Looking forward, we are enhancing our reference laboratory capabilities through courier management assistance with GPS integration for real-time specimen tracking; documentation management to streamline regulatory compliance and increase efficiency through audits; sales portal outreach to help reference labs manage current and future accounts; territory management; and more. We’re also enhancing features to respond to growing genomics needs of our clients.
We maintain commitment to our customers and have a proven ROI for them. Last year, we experienced double-digit growth in our lab business, which I believe demonstrates that even in a challenging HIT market, we’re continually providing our customers with solutions that fit their needs. At the same time, we’re increasing our footprint and diving into new markets and opportunities. We are committed to staying ahead of technology to provide a class-leading LIS solution that enables success for our valuable partners.
At CompuGroup Medical US, our mission is synchronizing healthcare. We recognize the tremendous importance of laboratory data and are working to provide a technology-leading, comprehensive and integrated solution that enables laboratories to provide accurate and timely results to providers who, in turn, have the resources to make the most informed decision to achieve the best possible patient outcome.
You have served in a number of positions at CGM and its affiliates for more than two decades. How has this prepared you for your current position as CEO? At CompuGroup Medical US, I’ve been responsible for everything from R&D, product development, multiple acquisitions and more. During my tenure, I’ve also held the role of CEO for several different CGM companies, and a significant part of my job has been integrating the multiple companies within CGM. For the last six years, I’ve been in the United States, most recently serving as the GM of CGM SAM (Software Assisted Medicine) platform designed to support and enable healthcare providers to manage and track chronic diseases. The software-assisted idea behind it is that software can help to improve outcomes in healthcare. I think the experience has provided me with great visibility into the company as a whole and equipped me with the insight to understand the market, what role we can play in it and how to integrate our business units to maximize our efficiency and achieve our mission of synchronizing healthcare.