Employees benefiting from University's partnership with Quest Diagnostics

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A year ago, Penn State began its awareness campaign on using Quest Diagnostics as the preferred nonurgent lab services provider for employees and families.

This voluntary program provides University medical plan members and their covered dependents the opportunity to save money when they choose to have nonurgent laboratory testing, such as blood and urine testing, cytology, pathology and cultures, completed at one of the 225 Quest Diagnostics facilities across the Commonwealth, including two new sites at University Park.

The program provides high-quality laboratory testing at a reduced cost to both medical plan members and to the University.

Gregory D. Stoner, senior director of compensation and benefits in Human Resources, says that, from its beginning, the program has steadily grown in both employee participation and sites of service. 

“Since last September, when Quest Diagnostics opened collection sites at University Park, we have seen tremendous growth in the number of nonurgent labs processed outside of a traditional hospital or physician office setting,” said Stoner. “Thirty percent of all nonurgent labs are now processed through Quest. Since the cost of Quest labs are a fraction of those processed in hospitals and clinics, over $500,000 in savings has already been realized.”

University medical plan members can find local Quest facilities and make appointments at Quest Diagnostics’ website.

For employees at the University Park and Altoona campuses, locations of Quest Diagnostic facilities include the Penn State Hershey Medical Group offices at 303 Benner Pike and 1850 East Park Ave., and at the Station Medical Center at 1404 Ninth Ave. in Altoona.

The program is voluntary, but by using the laboratory card at a Quest Diagnostics patient service center, or by requesting that the provider send lab samples to Quest, University medical plan members will pay a lower out-of-pocket expense for outpatient laboratory tests, compared to a doctor’s office or hospital lab.

For example, the average cost for a lipid panel (cholesterol test) at a non-Quest lab is $62.23, while the Quest lab estimated cost is $12.77, an approximate savings of $49.46.

Likewise, the average cost for a complete blood count (CBC) at a non-Quest lab is $39.10, and the Quest lab estimated cost is $7.41, an approximate savings of $31.69.

Along with saving money, there are additional advantages to having laboratory testing done at a Quest facility, including:

  • Online scheduling will help University medical plan members and their covered dependents avoid waiting in line. Quest invites participants to “Reserve a time and skip the line!”
  • Convenient locations close to campuses and free parking.
  • Easy online access to your results at MyQuest.com.

“From the use of preferred sites of service, like Quest facilities, to more informed benefits choices, our employees are becoming better-engaged consumers of health care,” added Stoner. “That effort will help employees to better manage their own out-of-pocket expenses, as well as the University’s cost.”

The annual opportunity for Penn State employees to review and select their benefits is less than two months away, and Human Resources is providing employees with all of the information they will need to make informed decisions through a dedicated microsite: http://openenrollment.psu.edu/

The 2018 Benefits Open Enrollment period is Nov. 1-17, and employees can visit http://openenrollment.psu.edu to access the tools and needed to help make benefit elections for 2018. The schedule of on-campus meetings and webinars also are included on the microsite.