Medical Database, Inc with their Easy to Use Tool is help Healthcare Providers Select and Order the Most Appropriate Laboratory Tests using Evidence-based Guidelines and Industry Best Practices
CEOCFO: Dr. Beqaj, what was the vision when you founded Medical Database, Inc? What is your focus today?
Dr. Beqaj: The vision is to help healthcare providers in providing the best healthcare to patients by giving them an easy to use tool where they can select and order the most appropriate laboratory tests using evidence-based guidelines and industry best practices. Managing laboratory test utilization has been an ongoing and growing problem for the healthcare industry. With an ever-increasing number of tests, especially in the area of molecular genetics where per test costs are very high, inappropriate utilization is creating a financial burden on healthcare overall and without a good solution. Therefore, our vision is to automate laboratory ordering and payment system which will reduce the cost by reducing overutilization or ordering unnecessary tests.
CEOCFO: Why is it so difficult to decide what test is needed?
Dr. Beqaj: Currently, physicians are challenged by a lack of access to centralized information regarding thousands of available clinical laboratory tests. In addition, the rapid growth in molecular and genetic testing poses a challenge for both healthcare providers and for commercial payers regarding proper utilization of these specialized tests. It is shown that more than 5 billion tests are ordered in the US, 20% of which are overutilized. Overutilization refers to ordering tests which are not indicated, or put simply, ordering the wrong test. This can contribute to an increase in morbidity due to delayed or missed diagnoses and, paradoxically, can lead to downstream overutilization, again resulting in higher costs and poorer patient care. Additionally, a consequence of ordering tests which are not indicated often leads to the failure to order tests which are clinically ‘indicated’, further compounding the problem.
CEOCFO: Do physicians in general recognize that it is a challenge for them? Are they looking for a better way?
Dr. Beqaj: Yes, that is why I began to do this. As a laboratory director, we are responsible to help physicians in selecting and ordering the correct test(s). Physicians would often call andask, “What test do I order for this disease,” or “What do these test results mean,” or “when do I order this test” and so on. To address these challenges, I started to develop content and algorithms to create Laboratory Decision System or LDS® that would help physicians select and order the right test for the right disease during the correct time frame while also helping labs meet the medical necessity so they can get paid for the services provided.
CEOCFO: How does the physician engage with you? What is your product and service?
Dr. Beqaj: LDS can be integrated with EMR and/or LIM system which gives providers access to a systematic and in-depth resource to aid physicians in better understanding, selecting, ordering, and interpreting the most relevant lab tests for their patient’s condition. LDS utilizes our proprietary ranking system and enables healthcare providers and care managers to correctly select the most relevant tests based on procedures or CPT codes, diseases, and ICD10 codes. The ranking system scores potential tests for any given disease and assigns an easily interpretable numerical/color-coded score based on clinical relevance, medical necessity, and testing indication. Test can be ordered by disease and/or ICD10 codes or by Test or CPT codes. Regardless, ordered by test or by disease or ICD10 every ordered test will have tis ICD10, its relevant score and testing indication to meet the medical necessity. In addition, each test entry has content that describes test overview, test utility, interpretation, reference ranges, sample collection, handling and test methodology serving as a resource to better understand and interpret test results when needed.
CEOCFO: Are you able to help a physician determine that if a test is not covered, but it is the right one? Can the physicians understand that from what you provide and then perhaps hopefully talk to the patient about whether they are willing to do it? Where does that come into play?
Dr. Beqaj: Every test ordered should meet the medical necessity in order to be reimbursed; therefore, physicians should select the right test with the right diagnostic ICD10 code. Thus, it is not easy for physicians to select the right test from more than 2000 commercially available tests, especially the esoteric and genetic tests which are very expensive and uncertain if it will be reimbursed or not. In addition, it is not easy for physicians to select the right diagnostic ICD10 from 70,000 available ICD10 codes. Therefore, physicians will appreciate the availability of this kind of tool to help them in selecting the right test for the right disease and automatically send the correct ICD10 coed with the order. In addition, our system uses testing indication such as “initial testing Indication” to better characterize the patient’s disorder based on initial test results before ordering highly complex and/or expensive tests, which then will be followed by diagnostic testing indication ordering more expensive and confirmatory testing to support or confirm the diagnosis. This way of ordering tests will save a lot to patients' healthcare as it avoids ordering a number of tests and perhaps expensive tests when the diagnosis is not known.
CEOCFO: How do you reach out to doctors and medical practices?
Dr. Beqaj: Since this is a new and innovative product, it will take some time for providers to adapt this product; however, we have no problem getting subscribers after presenting the product to providers and labs as they see the value, benefit and saving when using our product. Our method in reaching doctors and medical practices is either through publication (we just got a manuscript published and can be found on our webpage https://www.home.medicaldatabase.com/sci-forschen), through medical journals, magazines and through conferences. Our goal is to team up with large EMR and content providing companies and distributors to license the product to providers and laboratories.
CEOCFO: Has a system like this been tried in the past?
Dr. Beqaj: This is the only laboratory decision product on the market and no other system like this has been tried in the past. This is the only system that uses a proprietary scoring system and testing indication to order tests and the only system that is designed to support medical necessity for any ordered test.
CEOCFO: Are you seeking funding, investment and partnerships as you move forward?
Dr. Beqaj: Right now, we are self-funded, so marketing it is very expensive. We might look for investments in the future, but right now we still have enough funds to support our operations.
CEOCFO: What, if anything, has changed since you started with this concept? What might be different today about your system? What have you learned since you worked through the whole set up and back end?
Dr. Beqaj: We started to write the content since 2010 and finally got the product out after 9 years. It has been a long journey but good experience. We learned a lot through this time which made us adapt the product and company based on lab and medical industry needs. Like every system, our system has evolved into a more completed and finished product which is ready and easy to use by providers and laboratorians.
CEOCFO: Why is Medical Database an important company?
Dr. Beqaj: Medical Database, Inc.’s goal is to change the lab industry by providing tools that can assist providers in making appropriate utilization decisions while also supporting laboratories in reimbursement and streamline claim verification for payers, all of which combined will serve to make the laboratory industry and overall healthcare more efficient and cost-effective.