SOURCE: Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information

February 10, 2011 15:19 ET

Healthcare Cost Worries Boost Physician Office Lab Market

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 10, 2011) - The need to drive down the cost of healthcare will be one of several factors leading to a $2.3 billion worldwide market for in vitro diagnostic company sales to physician office labs this year, reports healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information. According to its recent report, "Physician Office Laboratory (POL) Testing Markets Worldwide: Status Quo and Future Trends," the over 110,000 POL labs in the United States, and many more globally, are positioned well with the goals of healthcare payors.

The term POL is diverse, encompassing physician practices as small as one to five doctors performing a few rapid tests to large practices of some 200 physicians that operate labs similar to small hospital laboratories. Kalorama believes these physician office labs best match with the need for outcomes-based results for judging performance.

"There is pressure on Washington for consumer-driven healthcare that brings affordable care to people instead of the other way around," said Shara Rosen, Kalorama's lead diagnostic analyst and the author of the report. "Patient centered care implicates the use of near patient testing when face-to-face performance and discussion of the test results can have a positive effect on patient compliance."

The report notes that this is most effective in cholesterol and diabetes management and warfarin anticoagulant dosing, but physician labs perform other tests and the test menu is larger. The report lists 45 tests that are performed in physician offices. Urinalysis, pregnancy, fecal occult blood, and single-analyte hemoglobin tests are examples of the types of tests routinely conducted in physician offices. While there's no direct incentive to use a POL for a test at this time, Rosen notes that the tendency of governments and payors has been towards pay-for-performance rules over the past decade, a promising trend for POLs.

More information on this market is available in Kalorama Information's "Physician Office Laboratory (POL) Testing Markets Worldwide: Status Quo and Future Trends," which looks into the technologies and trends in POL testing, with a special focus on the economics of test use in on-site patient care. A market analysis includes POL test revenues by type of test (over 30 types) and by region, profiles of POL offerings of over 70 suppliers, and forecasts through 2014. The report can be found at:

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