UnitedHealthcare taps Quest Diagnostics for value-based lab testing

woman with back to camera working in a laboratory
One insurer is taking a deeper dive into value-based care with a new arrangement with Quest Diagnostics. (Michal Jarmoluk)

UnitedHealthcare is diving further in value-based care with a new partnership with Quest Diagnostics.

The companies announced a long-term strategic partnership this week that includes collaboration on "a variety of value-based programs" for lab testing.

Health insurers have historically called out "unnecessary" lab testing under traditional fee-for-service payment systems as unnecessarily costly. The new arrangement will add lab testing to the growing list of value-based payment programs insurer's have been seeking out. 

“Lab data is quickly becoming the personalized roadmap that identifies the path to the next best action for individual patients,” Dan Schumacher, president and chief operating officer at UnitedHealthcare, said in a statement.

Additionally, starting Jan. 1, Quest will become an in-network provider under all 48 million UnitedHealthcare enrollees.

The announcement adds to a growing list of value-based arrangements by the Minnesota-based insurer. 

UnitedHealth recently announced it had netted $18 million in savings from its bundled payment programs, which also reduced hospital readmissions and surgery complications.