Deep Dive

When Your Clinic Doesn't Have a Lab

The cost for a clinic to start its own laboratory is approximately $500,000 to $1 million, minimum. A lot of doctors don’t have that kind of capital, so there’s a reasonable chance you will go to a clinic that uses another clinic’s laboratory. According to our data, roughly 17% of U.S. clinics have this sort of arrangement. This happens more often in smaller clinics, but it’s also true of the fourth largest clinic in the country, which commands 50% of the market in a top-three city for IVF, and where about half of the patient volume is processed at a third-party laboratory.

Frankly, we don’t have much in the way of data to show whether in-house laboratories outperform outsourced laboratories. One way to try and attack the question is to compare an in-house laboratory at a large clinic, with a neighboring outsourced laboratorie. Since these labs are in the same region, they presumably have a similar patient mix, and since they receive patients from many of the same FCI doctors, their patients were presumably subjected to the same treatment protocols, and levels of ICSI and PGS. Overall, their performance rates are identical. As to whether all outsourced labs are as skilled as this outsourced laboratory is hard for us to say at the moment.

We will be providing a list of clinics who do not have their own in-house laboratory. If you would like your clinic to be on the list — we will verify all submissions — please email us at

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