Clinical Laboratories and Pathologists Dodge a Bullet as CMS Publishes Proposed Repeal Rule Dealing with Physician Signature Requirement on Paper Requisitions for Lab Tests

Proposed repeal rule was published in yesterday’s Federal Register

Yesterday, pathologists and clinical laboratory managers got an early Fourth of July present. That’s because the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the proposed rule that repeals the requirement that paper requisitions for medical laboratory tests must have the physician’s signature.

This rule had been mandated by the 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule that was to take effect on January 1, 2011. In response to the negative response to this rule from important sectors of healthcare, including laboratory medicine professionals, hospital groups, and physician associations, as well as both Houses of Congress, CMS deferred implementation of the rule for the first 90 days of 2011. (See Dark Daily, “Good News for Clinical Laboratories as CMS Delays Physician’s Signature Requirement, December 22, 2010.


It’s True! Health Insurers Tell Congress They Cancel Policies of Sick Patients

Rescinding health policies of 20,000 people in past five years saved health insurers $300 million

For years, Americans have heard news stories about the sick patient whose health insurance policy was rescinded in the midst of a health crisis. Now comes public acknowledgement—at a Congressional hearing no less—that this business practice exists!

Executives from three of the nation’s largest health insurers admitted to this practice when testifying at a Congressional investigation recently. Observers believe the surprisingly candid acknowledgement about health insurance recissions pretty much guarantees insurers will be excluded from the health care reform debate. It may even ensure inclusion of a government health insurance plan in the final legislation which passes. (more…)