Public Health Laboratories and Health System Change . Study Methods


Due to the novelty of the topic and the consequent paucity of published information, it was necessary to go beyond the available literature by conducting interviews of public and private experts in clinical laboratory issues. We also performed case studies of states with PHLs that have had experience in dealing with health market change in order to better characterize the range of existing interactions between PHLs and other organizations (e.g., private clinical laboratories, MCOs, government organizations).

This study was performed on contract for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Office of Health Policy, within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). We received input throughout the study from other federal and state government organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We were also assisted by the leadership of the Association for State and Territorial Public Health Laboratory Directors (ASTPHLD), the primary association for state lab directors. Finally, we also solicited review and support from private sector interests (e.g., the American Clinical Laboratory Association).