An outreach lab partnership helps a major academic health system thrive

11 October 2022

A multi-faceted relationship between a major academic health system and Labcorp has delivered significant operational, financial and clinical benefits for the system. In addition to creating a core lab and providing single-source responsibility for a wide range of laboratory testing, Labcorp supports academic research and facilitates access to clinical trials. The achievement of substantial savings has cemented the partnership between the two organizations.


The relationship began when the health system, recognizing new price pressures, saw an opportunity to divest its outreach laboratory. They selected Labcorp to purchase and operate the outreach business.

As discussions proceeded, the two organizations began working closely on inpatient and reference lab testing, academic research, clinical trials, supply chain management and even data visualization and analytical support.

Health system snapshot

  • Not-for-profit academic health system
  • Eight hospitals, 13 freestanding centers, school of medicine
  • 400+ ambulatory practice locations
  • 7,000+ physicians
  • 43,000+ employee



Core lab structure delivers savings, supports COVID-19 testing

The health system has been able to leverage Labcorp's industry strength and procurement expertise to save substantially on a wide range of equipment and materials. They achieved an approximate 27% reduction in lab spend, plus a significant capital expense avoidance, on top of realized supply chain resiliency and efficiencies. As the savings increased, so did the partnership-the work between Labcorp and the health system has been so beneficial that the health system has continued to renew its agreement with Labcorp multiple times.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the advantage of having strong laboratory vendor relationships. With fast turnaround required for COVID-19 tests, the health system lab processed those tests internally while sending its other testing to Labcorp. Labcorp also helped the health system access needed equipment and reagents despite nationwide shortage

  • $11M capital expense avoidance
  • 3x increase in clinical trials
  • 27% initial cost reduction

Connecting patients and providers to clinical trials

Labcorp's clinical research arm, Labcorp Drug Development, supported the development of 87%of all drugs approved by the FDA in 2020. This strength and depth of knowledge has helped the health system triple its participation in clinical trials since the start of their partnership with Labcorp. By participating, the health system is better positioned as an industry leader and high-performing research center, and patients are able to gain access to potentially life-changing treatments.

"Labcorp has been instrumental in helping the health system expand its clinical trials, implement leading-edge technology and enhance academic research. These initiatives have helped to maintain the health system's national reputation for excellence and innovation."

- Deborah Sesok-Pizzini, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Labcorp Diagnostics

Academic collaboration fuels innovation

Labcorp's extensive investments in science and research made it a good fit with the academic health system. Since the inception of this strategic partnership, the two organizations have worked closely on next-generation technology that improves disease detection and monitoring.

For example, digital pathology, which replaces traditional slides and microscopes with digital images, became a critical necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Implementing digital pathology tools allowed pathologists to work remotely and still collaborate with colleagues both at the health system and around the world.

Additionally, the health system has tapped into Labcorp's data and analytics capabilities to identify patients who could benefit from new therapies. In one case, Labcorp was able to identify approximately 600 patients who had either tested positive or were at risk for hepatitis C. As a result of Labcorp's analytics, the health system was able to follow up with those patients to provide care using several available therapies to successfully treat the disease.

Single-partner approach improves standardization and efficiency

Prior to its relationship with Labcorp, the health system worked with a variety of vendors and used multiple internal systems. By shifting the bulk of testing to Labcorp, the health system was able to free up both capital and space to enhance core services including cancer care and cardiac services.

The single-partner approach optimized efficiency, quality and profitability of laboratory testing. From standardizing with state-of-the-art lab instrumentation to centralized management and lab consolidation, the health system has benefited from Labcorp's deep knowledge of lab operations and best practice.

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