Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Has the War of Words Begun? Lab Corporation Challenges Quest Diagnostics!

In what might be the beginning of a panic radio advertising blitz, Lab Corporation of America seems to be launching a radio advertising campaign in order to let people know that they are a lab which people should choose for their laboratory needs. Clearly this campaign is in response to the radio advertising campaign begun weeks ago by their chief competitor Quest Diagnostics.

All of this name brand advertising translates back to the decision of the Executive of Quest Diagnostics to walk away from the table in contract talks with United Healthcare. That decision was made due to the fact that the Executive and his qualified staff of lawyers and advisors deemed the demands of United Healthcare to not only be bad business for the stockholders of Quest Diagnostics, but bad for the entire industry.

The fact that it was a bad contract did not dissuade the executives from Lab Corp. from entering into a long term contract with United Healthcare. But that is water under the bridge. Any negative fallout from that will have to be handled by Lab Corporation of America’s executive board. The fact that they will have to account for $200,000,000.00 of lab test redirects to other labs (read Quest Diagnostics) will be an issue which they will have to make explanation for.

It appears that by directing the public’s attention to the availability of Lab Corps. services by way of radio advertising they are already attempting to stop the leakage of medical specimens to other labs in order to prevent loss. But according to some of my friends who work at Quest Diagnostics it is clearly going to take more than that to stop the sales and marketing team at Quest Diagnostics from producing a fair market share, contract or no contract.

But my main concern is still that of a particular business practice of Lab Corporation of America. As I mention in another article
it seems to be the practice of Lab Corp. to permit the specimen fleet vehicles to be utilized by the drivers as personal vehicles when not in use for company related business.

Yes, when you see a Lab Corp. vehicle going down the road it might very well be going to the market for groceries for the family. Since it is still not clear to me that Lab Corporation of America is accounting for all of the personal use when filing tax information with the Internal Revenue Service I have to ask a simple question. Is Lab Corporation of America sticking it to the American taxpaying public?

I have to ask other questions as well. Do I want to support a company who is making me pay for the gas which their drivers use to go to the market to shop? Wouldn’t it be better if they would simply give their employees other benefits and better pay instead of allowing them to drive on my dime and calling it an employee benefit?

But of course I could be wrong about this. Perhaps the Executive at Lab Corp. could use his radio advertising to address this issue of the apparent lack of honesty and integrity doing so on behalf of his company.

In the meantime perhaps someone at the Internal Revenue Service could take a few minutes out of his or her busy schedule to look into what might very well be a legal issue involving a lack of honesty in bookkeeping.

Personally I prefer to use a company such as Quest Diagnostics, which has a high standard in a very transparent environment of maintaining compliance to governmental regulations which are applicable to the entire industry. If Lab Corp. can’t even comply with tax regulations related to the proper use of a corporate fleet, can I trust them with any other regulation pertaining to the industry and the proper testing of a medical specimen? Can you?
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

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