Three Questions about Laboratories for Hospital Executives That Could Make or Break Your Career

Answer each of the following three questions to test your knowledge of the value of hospital laboratory outreach programs:

  1. What is the profitability of your laboratory outreach program compared to hospital peers and the national laboratories (Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp)?
  2. True or False: Outreach is a low margin business compared to other hospital departments.
  3. True or False: Hospitals cannot compete with the national laboratories as evidenced by lower growth rates year over year.


  1. 28 to 30 percent on average for hospitals, compared to 16 to 19 percent for Quest and LabCorp, respectively.
  2. Do not confuse margin with price. At $58, the average laboratory requisition is small compared to other hospitals services. But keep in mind that laboratory is a high volume, high margin business in the aggregate and can support other, less profitable services.
  3. Hospital outreach programs are taking market share away from the national laboratories. The growth rate for hospital outreach programs in 2013 was five percent, compared to losses of four percent and one percent for Quest and LabCorp, respectively.

Your score:
0 out of 3:  Laboratory is underperforming, and your knowledge is outdated.
1 out of 3:  Laboratory may be underperforming, and you need new knowledge to gain executive support.
2 out of 3:  Same as above.
3 out of 3:  Congratulations! Your laboratory is a good performer, and your knowledge is up-to-date.

If you were in the first three categories, consider reviewing Chi’s article “Stop Drinking the National Lab Kool-Aid: Statistics Show Hospitals are Leading on Three of the Most Important Metrics” or scheduling a consultation with our experts. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to grow new revenue and margin for your hospital or system.

Kathleen A. Murphy, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Chi Solutions, Inc.

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