Quest Diagnostics will relaunch its growing direct-to-consumer platform during the next few weeks, with the aim of increasing clicks and then purchases “once we get the eyeballs to the site,” chief executive officer-elect Jim Davis told Morgan Stanley’s 20th Annual Global Healthcare Conference on Tuesday.
Its QuestDirect business picked up momentum during COVID, Davis said, since “you don’t have to go to your doctor to order a lab test, especially for something like COVID.”
Davis cited a couple of key consumer groups as driving the D2C business:
1. “People who value privacy who don’t want their doctors to know what they’re getting tested for, and don’t want their insurance company to know."
2. “’Watchful warriors’ – people with chronic diseases who want to get tested more frequently than their health plan will cover, so why not just come to Quest, order it directly rather than go to your doctor, pay for a bill for your doctor, only to have them order a lab test that’s going to get denied because you have a frequency limit?”
Davis said Quest will also continue to grow its retail relationships, which have included COVID testing in Rite-Aid, CVS and Walmart stores (“40% to 50% of our volume is coming from retailers”), as well as 70 to 80 patient service centers in Walmart stores. He added that Quest has been having discussions with Rite-Aid and CVS about patient service centers as well.
Meanwhile, Glenn Eisenberg, vice president and chief financial officer of Quest’s main competitor Labcorp, was speaking the same day at the Baird 2022 Global Healthcare Conference.
Neither D2C nor retail relationships came up in Eisenberg’s discussion, but Labcorp’s recent run of hospital deals did. These include buying outside labs, like a deal with New jersey’s RJWBarnabas announced last month, and running in-house labs, such as a pending deal with Ascension in 10 states.
“As a partner, we can deliver the same service levels, the same quality, the same turnaround times, and do it at less cost to them,” Eisenberg said.