Quest Diagnostic says that its life insurance underwriting exam unit is still suffering from the COVID-19 quarantine rules, but that ordinary medical testing — “base testing” — has recovered to about 90% of normal levels.
Executives at the Secaucus, New Jersey-based laboratory services giant talked about life insurance testing, base testing and COVID-19 testing activity today, when they were going over second-quarter earnings with securities analysts.
- Links to Quest Diagnostics earnings resources are available here.
- An earlier article that refers to Exam One is available here.
Quest processes medical lab tests for about one-third of all U.S. adults every year.
The second quarter ended June 30.
The company is reporting $193 million in net income for the latest quarter on $1.8 billion in revenue, compared with $239 million in net income on $2 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2019.
Quest has been doing better than executives had expected, and well enough that the company has reversed most of the furloughs the company imposed in an effort to conserve cash.
From the perspective life insurers, and life insurance agents, the hear of Quest may seem to be the ExamOne life insurance underwriting paramedical exam business.
The unit sends an army of examiners out to collect samples of life insurance applicants’ fluids.
In recent months, many life insurers have boasted of efforts to find ways to do without samples of applicants’ fluids in a time of social distancing.
When a securities analyst asked company executives about Quest units that have continued to have hiccups, Steve Rusckowski, the chief executive officer, mentioned ExamOne.
“Our life insurance business, frankly, that’s down considerably,” Rusckowski said. “We haven’t seen a big recovery there.”
Since January, Quest has gone from learning what COVID-19 is to processing about 8.5 million saliva and throat swab “molecular diagnostic” samples. The molecular diagnostic tests indicate whether people have active bits of the virus that causes COVID-19 in their bodies.
Quest has also processed about 2.5 million of the “serology tests,” or the tests that detect whether people have antibodies for the virus that causes COVID-19 circulating in their blood.
Rusckowski said Quest has processed about 20% of all of the COVID-19 tests completed in the United States.