News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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Clinical Laboratories Face Deadline to Comply with New Standard for Bar Code Labels on Specimens

Complying with this standard will help reduce errors by improving specimen handling and tracking, and also reduce lab costs by boosting accuracy and quality.

Clinical laboratories have about nine months to comply with a new standard for bar code labels. The deadline for compliance to AUTO12-A, Specimen Labels: Content and Location, Fonts, and Label Orientation, is April 29, 2014.

While compliance next year will not affect a lab’s accreditation, in the coming years accrediting bodies, such as The Joint Commission and the College of American Pathologists are expected to require medical laboratories to comply with this bar code label standard.


Failure to Pay for New Molecular CPT Codes Creates Money Crisis for Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Medicare contractors are setting prices that are 40% to 60% lower than they paid medical laboratories last year for these same molecular diagnostic tests

Non-payment for most new molecular diagnostic test CPT codes continues to be a problem for the majority of medical laboratories across the country.

A lack of payment for these claims, have forced some clinical laboratories and pathology groups to stop doing molecular testing and lay off staff. At least one lab  company shut its doors, blaming non-payment by its Medicare contractor as the primary reason.

Coding Consultant Uses Crowdsourcing for Clinical Pathology Laboratories to Post Amounts Paid by Medicare Contractors for Molecular Test Claims

Medical laboratories have yet to learn how much to expect in payment for molecular pathology test claims submitted to the Medicare program

Concern is rising among pathologists and clinical laboratory directors about what the Medicare program will pay this year for the 104 new molecular test CPT codes. These new CPT codes became effective on January 1, 2013.

Few–if any–medical laboratories have received payments for Medicare claims submitted early in January. That’s because contractors for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are just beginning to process those invoices. The first payments for these molecular test claims are expected within the next several weeks.

Help for Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

To help clinical labs and pathology groups address this problem, CodeMap, LLC, a billing and coding consulting company in Schaumburg, IL, is encouraging clinical labs to post the payment amounts for the molecular test claims they get from the nation’s Medicare Administrative Contractors on the CodeMap website at CodeMap then will make this information available to participating medical laboratories and the public.

crowdsourcing graphic

To fill the knowledge vacuum that exists as different Medicare Administrative Contractors use the gap-fill method to develop reimbursement for the 104 new molecular test CPT codes, CodeMap, LLC, of Schaumburg, IL, is using the crowdsourcing solution. Also known as distributed problem solving, CodeMap is inviting clinical laboratories and pathology groups to voluntarily provide data about their payments for Medicare claims involving the new molecular test codes. (Graphic by


Capitol Hill Hears Message from Independent Clinical Laboratory Owners: Additional Medicare Cuts in 2013 Can Be Financially Devastating

Nation’s smaller independent medical laboratories and pathology groups provide clinical lab testing services in many under-served communities

Nov. 21, 2012, WASHINGTON, DC—Last Thursday, owners of independent clinical laboratory companies fanned out across Capitol Hill to meet with their respective Senators and Representatives. Probably the number one concern of these lab owners was further cuts to the Medicare Part B Clinical Laboratory Test Fee Schedule.

Congress is preparing to tackle a host of spending issues, not the least which is the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate sustainable growth rates(SGR). Earlier this year, in February, Congress raided Medicare Part B Clinical Laboratory Test Fees by $2.7 billion over 10 years to provide a source of funding to temporarily fix SGR. (See Dark Daily, “In Fixing Physician Medicare Pay, Congress Enacts Yet Another Cut in Clinical Laboratory Test Fee Schedule,” February 20, 2012.) (more…)

Mobile DNA Testing Van Cruises New York City Streets and Asks “Who’s Your Daddy?”

Mobile testing truck makes DNA testing approachable and accessible to the community while competing with established clinical laboratories

You may have seen recent news coverage of a van cruising the streets of New York City that was offering on-the-spot DNA testing with signs plastered on sides reading “Who’s Your Daddy”—“DNA Testing.” Certainlyany passing pathologist or clinical chemist might do a double take.

According to abc News coverage of the story, passersby can hail the 28-foot recreational vehicle to have their DNA tested. Of course, no testing is performed in the mobile van. Rather, a technician collects a sample from the customer, packages it, and sends it to a laboratory in Ohio for testing. Results come back in three to five days. Prices for the testing service start at $299. (more…)