SOURCE: Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information

February 04, 2010 11:53 ET

Testing Increasingly Decisive in Physician Diagnosis

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 4, 2010) -  About eighty percent of physicians' diagnoses result from a lab test. This bodes well for clinical lab service providers, especially the two major players Quest and LabCorp who provide lab services to hospitals, according to healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information, which recently published "Clinical Laboratory Services Market (Growth Opportunities, Competitive Analysis and Competitor Profiles)."

In today's cost cutting reality, there is a shift taking place in healthcare that includes shortened hospital stays. The average length of hospital stays in the U.S. is 4.7 days today, down from about 5.4 days in 1995 and 4.9 days in 2000. As a result, clinical labs have been pressured to improve the turnaround of test results so they can pick up the slack and help doctors to continue providing proper healthcare. This means they have also become a more valuable part of the treatment plan and are improving a physician's ability to treat patients like never before.

"As hospital stays are shortened, contact between the physician and patient is reduced, which places a larger role on labs to gather, interpret, and deliver accurate information to the physician in a timely manner," notes Melissa Elder, an analyst with Kalorama Information. "We expect to see an increase in the number of clinical labs, particularly in the independent sector, as these trends continue to influence the industry."

In the report, Kalorama estimates the clinical lab services market in the U.S. was about $52.7 billion in 2009 and will grow at an annual rate of 4.1% to reach $61.9 billion by 2014. New technologies in testing will likely continue to fuel growth in combination with an aging population, increasing disease incidence and prevalence, a greater focus on prevention and early detection, and new trends in personalized medicine. Some key areas of growth include genomic and esoteric testing, anatomic pathology, and specialized testing in oncology and infectious disease.

The clinical lab services market in the U.S. is highly competitive with a large number of players. However, two big players, Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, dominate the industry with combined lab service revenues of nearly $12 billion in 2009. No other players approach these two, but smaller companies have achieved noticeable growth in the past two years, especially in the area of specialty testing where they have cut into the pricing and volume of the major companies. Overall, the specialty segments enjoyed higher growth in test volume than the routine segments in 2009.

Kalorama Information's "Clinical Laboratory Services Market (Growth Opportunities, Competitive Analysis and Competitor Profiles)" provides an in-depth market overview, a total market analysis, analysis by laboratory type, and by routine and specialty testing and a review of the latest trends driving growth. Forecasts through 2014 and profiles of major players in the industry are also included. It is available at: http://www.kaloramainformation.com/redirect.asp?progid=77371&productid=2565239.

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