Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories LLC, the Spokane-based national reference laboratory, had another strong year in 2015, experiencing requisition volume growth of 7 percent, says Patty Sipes, PAML’s senior vice president of sales, marketing and business development.
Though down a percentage point from the prior year’s growth rate of 8 percent, PAML experienced faster growth than the nation’s two largest labs, Sipes says and released corporate information shows.
On its website, Laboratory Corporation Holdings of America reported it experienced 4 percent requisition volume growth in 2015, while the nation’s second largest lab, Quest Diagnostics, says on its website it had a 3 percent rise in requisition volume.
Requisition volume refers to a doctor’s order for all the tests for a single patient and not the individual tests. It’s possible for one requisition to include multiple tests.
PAML doesn’t disclose specific requisition volume numbers. Sipes also declines to divulge specific revenue figures for the company, but has said its annual revenues are in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
“Across all of our ventures, we’ve seen great growth and revenue is up,” Sipes says.
PAML has 200 hospital clients and 15,000 individual physician clients across the U.S., she says.
The company ranks as Spokane County’s 26th largest employer, with 728 full-time equivalent employees as of the end of 2015, based on information it supplied to the Journal for a largest-employers list.
PAML is a founding member of PACLAB Network Laboratories in Seattle with Providence Health System-Washington, Providence Everett Medical Center, Franciscan Health System, Overlake Hospital Medical Center, Evergreen Healthcare and Stevens Hospital.
Sipes says PAML officials have their sights set on a robust 2016 as the company continues to expand its customer base both regionally and nationally.
“We are definitely looking at other things across the country,” Sipes says. She declines to reveal specifics, but says as one example that the company is exploring a business opportunity in the southeast part of the U.S.
“It looks to be very promising at this point, and we hope to have a decision by fall,” Sipes says.
Last May, PAML and Bloodworks Northwest of Seattle entered into an agreement to explore ways to collaborate in hopes of improving patient care. The company is still in the early stages of quantifying the effects of that collaborative effort.
Sipes says the company believes strong customer service is contributing heavily to its success.
“I got a very good sense of this from a client I personally met with who is based in Arizona,” Sipes says. “I wanted to know, ‘How are we doing? What makes us favorable in your eyes?’ The response I got was, ‘You all care, you answer your phones and deliver the services you say you will.’ It was very exciting to hear that,” she says.
While PAML wants to continue growing its customer base, Sipes says the company is being strategic about that growth.
“We are forcing ourselves to stay nimble. The medical industry is changing fast, and if you can’t keep up with those changes, your clients will find someone who can,” she says.
Sipes says PAML also places a heavy emphasis on collecting and utilizing its data. “From the information we collect it allows us to be proactive rather than reactive.”
“Our focus is on keeping our clients and that’s by keeping the focus on clients,” Sipes says. “The minute we lose focus on that is when the growth gets compromised.”
Sipes says the company has partnered with Spokane TV station KREM 2 for a series of stories titled, “Real Men Wear Gowns.” The purpose of the series is to encourage men to take a more active role in their daily health.
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