The Sustainable Laboratory: Perspectives on Laboratory Outreach


Historically, laboratories have operated as revenue centers within hospitals, with providers ordering tests and payers willing to reimburse. Today, labs are trending toward becoming cost centers, with ever-diminishing profit margins. Subsequently, some health system administrators are asking ‘Why keep the laboratory in-house when we can outsource and cut costs?’ Commoditizing laboratory medicine may sound viable at first glance, but on deeper review, is not a sustainable strategy. Competitive differentiation comes from demonstrating unique value the laboratory provides that goes well beyond the price of a test or a test result.

Laboratory outreach is emerging as an opportunity for labs to provide value to hospitals and health systems by providing testing services for all patient types, regardless of location. In addition to lowering unit costs, increasing outreach test volumes provide new revenue streams, positions the laboratory to utilize excess capacity and operate more efficiently.

This session will include an overview of trends impacting labs, differentiate between price and value, and provide detail on laboratory outreach as an integral part of the sustainable laboratory.

Originally presented on September 14, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Lecture Presenter

Suzanne Carasso, MBA, MT (ASCP) 

Suzanne Carasso, MBA, MT (ASCP) 

Director Business Solutions Consulting
ARUP Laboratories

As spokesperson for ARUP Laboratories Consulting Division, Suzanne works with a variety of healthcare organizations across the United States including large academic medical centers, integrated delivery networks, multi-hospital health systems, community hospitals, children’s hospitals, independent laboratories and group purchasing organizations. In this role, Suzanne engages with laboratory administrative and executive leaders to develop strategies for success in the transition from fee-for-service to value-based models. Suzanne identifies client goals and objectives, understands unique challenges, and then aligns consulting teams and services that support organizational initiatives.

To date, Suzanne has provided consulting services to more than fifty hospitals and health systems designed to inform and engage executive leaders and secure capital investment for laboratory business operations.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Understand top trends that impact clinical labs and influence outsourcing decisions.
  • Differentiate price versus value.
  • Identify ways in which labs deliver value to parent organizations.
  • Evaluate laboratory outreach as a strategy for labs to transition from cost to value centers.
  • Examine critical success factors for successful outreach programs.

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, and ARUP Laboratories