Taking diagnostics directly to consumers

Quest Diagnostics launches QuestDirect, a new service to let customers order select lab tests without needing physician orders

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MADISON, N.J.—In an effort to give people more control over their health, Quest Diagnostics has kicked off QuestDirect, a Patient-Initiated Testing service for customers in Colorado and Missouri that will enable them to order certain lab tests directly without a physician's order. Available options include health profiles, basic tests such as blood type, cholesterol, pregnancy, urinalysis and thyroid and screening for issues such as heart health, hepatitis C, sexually transmitted infections and diabetes.
This just is one of Quest Diagnostics' ongoing efforts to put more options in consumers' hands. Quest Diagnostics also has a collaboration in place with Safeway to offer laboratory testing services at 12 Safeway locations in five states, and advocates for providing patients with direct access to lab testing via its joint venture partners in Oklahoma and Arizona.
"In today's consumer-driven health care environment, people want to play a more active role in managing their own health and wellness, and our Patient-Initiated Testing service is another resource for individuals to empower better health," Steve Rusckowski, president and CEO of Quest Diagnostics, commented in a press release. "Consumers expect the most accurate and up-to-date diagnostic information to proactively manage their health so that they can make educated decisions, and we are pleased to begin offering this service to residents of Colorado and Missouri."
Quest Diagnostics launched this pilot program Nov. 21, and the options can be accessed at QuestDiagnostics.com/QuestDirect. The company's customers can access their results via MyQuest by Care360, Quest Diagnostics' health portal and mobile app, which is used by more than three million people to view, store and share their health information.
"We are pleased to offer consumers a responsible menu of tests that will give them the insight about their health and well-being," added Cathy Doherty, senior vice president and group executive of clinical franchise solutions at Quest Diagnostics. "We believe that consumer engagement in personal health is critical, and we aim to ensure consumers are connected to high-quality medical care, when and where they need it."
In other news, Quest Diagnostics announced on Nov. 11 that it had raised its outlook for revenue growth for 2017 to 2020 to 3 percent to 5 percent, with expectations that earnings for that same period will grow faster than revenues in the mid- to high-single-digit range. The company also raised its common stock dividend by 12.5 percent to an annual rate of $1.80 per share.
That update comes just a few weeks after the company reported its third quarter financial results. Quest Diagnostics saw reported net income for the quarter of $192 million, or $1.34 per diluted share, with adjusted net income of $182 million. Adjusted diluted earnings per share excluding amortization came in at $1.37, up from $1.28 in the same quarter of 2015. Revenues for the three-month period were $1.89 billion, an increase of 0.3 percent versus 2015 on a reported basis, and an increase of 2.1 percent on an equivalent basis.
To date, Quest Diagnostics has seen revenues of $5.65 billion for the first nine months of 2016, with adjusted net income of $509 million and adjusted diluted earnings per share excluding amortization of $3.84. For the full year, the company expects to see revenues of roughly $7.51 billion.

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