Now, an expanded collaboration between Quest Diagnostics and IRIS (Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems) aims to increase convenience and improve screening rates for this condition.
Secaucus-based Quest said the partnership will deliver diabetic retinal imaging services throughout its patient service centers across the country to aid in screening patients for retinal assessment.
According to the CDC, nearly one-third of patients with diabetes over 40 have diabetic retinopathy. The National Eye Institute found that screening to aid early detection and treatment may help prevent the disease from progressing to blindness. The Quest-IRIS partnership makes it more convenient for patients to receive the service, the company said.
“Limited access to important screenings has allowed the undetected, sight-threatening progression of diabetic retinopathy to grow,” Christopher Grant, vice president and general manager, Quest HealthConnect, said in a statement. “Through this collaboration with IRIS, we can now provide a new opportunity to help prevent sight loss. Leveraging our network of patient service centers will increase access to screenings for many, ultimately leading to better health outcomes.”
In 2018, Quest Diagnostics’ Quest HealthConnect business began providing diabetic retinal imaging for use in screening with the IRIS platform — a portable, handheld camera that captures a patient’s retinal images. The new collaboration extends the use of the IRIS platform to Quest’s patient service centers around the United States.
After leading Quest Diagnostics as CEO for more than a decade, Steve Rusckowski will retire from the Secaucus-based company this fall.
As part of its leadership succession planning, on Feb. 3, the Quest board of directors announced Executive Vice President, General Diagnostics James Davis as the company’s next chief executive officer, effective Nov. 1, 2022.
“Steve is a superb CEO who has led a team that has executed a well-defined strategy which has generated strong growth and shareholder value during his decade-long tenure at Quest. He has worked closely with the board over the past several years in building a succession plan that ensures a smooth, gradual transition to new leadership,” Quest Lead Independent Director Tim Ring said in a statement.
“On behalf of the entire Board and all 50,000 Quest colleagues, I want to thank Steve for his leadership and his tremendous dedication and commitment to making Quest Diagnostics the exceptional company it is today,” Ring added.
According to the company, Quest’s general diagnostics business – which Davis currently heads – accounted for 80% of the company’s $10.8 billion revenues in 2021. The unit employee base, meanwhile, represents three-quarters of the company, overall. He is also responsible for operations including, sales and marketing, patient services, logistics, laboratories, billing and customer service.
“As I approached a decade in service as CEO, the board and I determined that now is the right time to begin to turn the helm over to a new leader,” Rusckowski said. “Jim Davis is extremely well qualified to be CEO, having managed a large part of the company in his role as executive vice president. He has deep knowledge of Quest, the health care industry, and the corporate world, gained through more than 35 years of business experience. Jim is widely respected and will be a strong CEO.”
Davis joined Quest in 2013 as senior vice president, Diagnostic Solutions. He was named senior vice president of operations in February of the following year. He assumed his current executive vice president position in 2017, building a strong record of growth for revenue and earnings by cultivating relationships with the company’s large health plans and hospital system customers, Quest said.
Davis has overseen the integration of Quests regional lab acquisitions, has been at the forefront of the company’s ESG strategy, and provided enterprise oversight for the company’s COVID-19 pandemic response.
The search is also on at Quest to identify a new CFO, with the additional announcement that Mark Guinan, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will also retire in 2022.
Guinan, who has served as CFO for eight and a half years, will aid the search for his replacement, remaining in the role through the transition, according to Quest.
“Quest Diagnostics is a special company with a meaningful mission and a strong team in place, and it has been a privilege to serve as chief financial officer,” Guinan said. “With the company well positioned for continued success after the pandemic, now it’s time for me to step back and retire. I’m looking forward to participating in the process to identify my successor, who can support Steve and Jim in Quest’s next phase of growth.”
Under Rusckowski’s leadership, Quest said its revenues have grown nearly 50%. Since 2012, the company has completed 41 acquisitions – it closed one last week – generated $14.5 billion in cash and returned $8.2 billion to shareholders through buybacks and dividends.
Quest is a more inclusive place now, as well, the company said: half of its directors are women, and the board includes two people of color. In 2020, Rusckowski led the launch of a $100 million effort to decrease health disparities for underserved people in the U.S., particularly communities of color.
The company also played a part in the national response to COVID-19 to help expand access to testing; it launched testing for the virus back in March of 2020.
Walmart and Secaucus-based Quest Diagnostics are launching a new website and testing service that would simplify how customers and patients can order and view their results, the two announced on Jan. 31.
The more than 50 available tests range from those for general and digestive health to allergies, infectious disease and heart conditions, the statement says. Results are available in a matter of days and can be accessed via the patient portal MyQuest, available on computers, smartphones and tablet devices.
Proponents like Quest Chairman and CEO Steve Rusckowski contend that the new service would boost the availability of “convenient, individualized” health care for patients that “meets them where they are.”
“While many are too busy or face barriers to engage in in-person doctors’ appointments, others choose to proactively arm themselves with diagnostic insights before engaging with one,” he said.
The tests would be available at Quest Diagnostic and Walmart locations “often available that same day” they’re scheduled, the announcement reads, while other tests might be sent to the patient’s residence.
As part of the testing service, patients have access to health care professionals that can explain the test results and potential prescription treatments.
Quest Diagnostics entered into a definitive agreement to acquire patient-engagement company Pack Health in an all-cash equity transaction, the company announced Jan. 18.
Pack Health specializes in addressing chronic conditions and comorbidities that are influenced by mental health, lifestyle behaviors, access to care and social determinants of health. Its health coaches provide personalized content to clients, such as health plans to pharmaceutical companies.
“By adding the Pack Health platform to our Extended Care services, Quest will strengthen our ability to connect diagnostic insights to actions that generate greater value, outcomes and quality, empowering affordable care,” said Quest Diagnostics Chief Executive Officer Steve Rusckowski in a prepared statement. “This transaction also builds on our growing expertise in addressing social determinants of health, such as through our Quest for Health Equity initiative, and other programs that help organizations deliver value-based care.”
Pack’s services include medication adherence coaching for pharmaceutical companies’ patient education programs, diet and exercise coaching for health plans focused on improving population health and quality metrics, and community resource outreach to address social determinants of health including food insecurity and transportation access.
The acquisition builds on Quest’s 2018 acquisition of MedXM, a provider of in-person, home-based risk assessment and monitoring services that supplements care delivered in clinical settings. MedXM is now Quest HealthConnect.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 90% of the nation’s annual health care expenditures are for people with chronic and mental health conditions. Conditions including diabetes and heart diseases can be delayed or prevented if caught and addressed early; and social determinants of health can influence early disease detection and management.
In August 2020, Quest Diagnostics and its Quest Diagnostics Foundation announced Quest for Health Equity, a $100 million initiative to address and reduce health disparities in underserved communities. The company also helps communities access diagnostic services through a national network of relationships with federally qualified health care organizations.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close the first quarter 2022.
Quest Diagnostics is bolstering its Southeastern presence, and access for patients, with the acquisition of an independent clinical diagnostic laboratory.
On Dec. 14, Secaucus-based Quest said it acquired substantially all the assets of Labtech Diagnostics, which serves physicians and patients primarily in North Carolina, South Carolina, George and Florida.
“Our acquisition of Labtech Diagnostics delivers on our Accelerate growth strategy in the Southeast and vision of a healthier world,” said Quest Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Rusckowski. “Establishing a laboratory in South Carolina will enable us to provide diagnostic insights empowering affordable care to more patients and providers while building on our growth aims in the region.”
Based in Anderson, S.C., Labtech marks the first full-service laboratory owned by Quest in the state, the company said.
Physicians in that state will now be able to access diagnostic services from Quest through its Cleveland HeartLab cardiometabolic center of excellence and other labs in Atlanta, Tampa and Greensboro.
According to Quest, the company and its approximately 50,000 employees serve 1 in 3 adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the U.S., annually.
Secaucus-based Quest Diagnostics Inc. announced Oct. 12 that its new, 250,000-square-foot next-generation lab facility at ON3 in Clifton is complete.
The advanced technology and automation laboratory, will serve more than 40 million people per year in seven states across the Northeast. It performs high-volume diagnostic testing services, offering increased productivity, superior medical quality, and capacity to meet current and future regional demands.
“Our new Clifton laboratory is fully operational, and we are excited about the many ways that it will empower better health for the patients and clients in the seven states the lab serves,” said Steve Rusckowski, chairman, president, and chief executive officer. “The lab’s best-in-class automation enables us to offer higher medical quality, faster turnaround, and the ability to quickly add additional capacity. This inspiring facility represents our continued commitment to our employees, the health care community and the patients we serve in our home state of New Jersey.”
The facility is one of the largest medical laboratories globally, featuring extensive automation that enables it to perform testing on more than 300,000 tests per day with accuracy, quality and efficiency. The design fosters a culture of innovation through collaboration, with indoor/outdoor connectivity, light-filled workstations, mixed-use social spaces, a central skylight-topped “communication staircase” for cross-departmental engagement, and the Oculus mezzanine—offering staff and visitors a view of lab operations without interrupting floor activity.
The lab has the capacity to add a third automation line on the main automation floor.
In addition to delivering superior provider and patient experiences, this unique facility represents a more than $250 million commitment to Quest Diagnostics’ customers and community, providing more than 1,000 jobs and serving as an economic stimulus for New Jersey. In an automated environment, these jobs offer employees skill-building opportunities and the ability to laser focus on high-value work providing diagnostic insights.
“New Jersey is proud to be the home of Quest Diagnostics and this magnificent new laboratory,” said Gov. Phil Murphy in a prepared statement. “COVID-19 clearly demonstrated the need for accurate diagnostic testing and this lab is testament to the fact that Quest has heard that call and answered. This is truly a first-class facility.”
The Clifton laboratory features two distinct automated lines for clinical testing and a bridge design that enhances efficiency. The automated facility also utilizes barcode tracing solutions to track and store specimens, making it easier for health care providers to request follow-up tests or further analysis in real-time.
“While our Clifton lab was in the construction phase prior to COVID-19, our team of suppliers and construction partners joined forces to safely build this facility on time and on budget, despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic,” said Rusckowski. “We are grateful for the contributions of the more than 200 suppliers who helped us bring this lab to life.”
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