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Anatomic pathology

Anatomic pathology is about diagnosing disease through the examination of organs and tissue samples by using a microscope, or through molecular, biochemical or immunological means.

It differs from clinical pathology, where diseases are diagnosed through analyzing bodily fluids in a lab.

In anatomic pathology, a physician trained in pathology examines surgical specimens (e.g., from a biopsy). This contrasts from clinical pathology, where blood, throat cultures, and urine as sent to a lab for analysis to determine whether a patient either has or is at risk for several biological diseases.

The American Board of Pathology is one of the primary certification organizations for anatomic pathologists. To be certified in anatomic pathology, a physician must complete four years of medical school and three years of residency. To be certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology, a physician must do four years of residency.

Anatomic pathologists typically work in hospitals, and pathology in general is most times practiced in hospitals and academic medical centers, where research is being conducted.

Is Artificial Intelligence Ready for First Use in Anatomic Pathology?

CEO SUMMARY: Use of artifical intelligence (AI) to analyze digital pathology images and aid in diagnosis—or even in making the primary diagnosis—is much discussed. Experts in pathology regularly predict that use of AI in image analysis will transform the pathology profession. Bu…

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Pathologist’s Prison Term Is a Warning for AP Groups

CEO SUMMARY: In January, a former VA pathologist was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison following his conviction on charges of involuntary manslaughter and mail fraud. The facts in this case show why leaders of clinical labs and pathology groups need to be aware of individuals …

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Digital Pathology Launched in the ‘Era of COVID-19’

CEO SUMMARY: Is it smart to initiate digital pathology (DP) systems and whole-slide imaging just as a novel coronavirus upends healthcare and society at large? That was the question asked at Poplar Healthcare, a pathology lab in Memphis. Senior management proceeded with the implemen…

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Managing Labs in Two Dimensions in 2021

EXPECT 2021 TO BE JUST AS CHALLENGING A YEAR for lab management as was 2020. This will be true not only because of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Other important factors will complicate the operation of clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups in the new year….

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Labs, AP Groups Confused about UnitedHealthcare’s Test Registry

CONFUSION CONTINUES among clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups about how they should comply with UnitedHealthcare’s new Laboratory Test Registry Program. The program goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, but labs and pathology groups must register all tests and testing procedure…

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UnitedHealth Sets More Billing Rules for Labs, Pathologists

SUBMITTING CLINICAL LABORATORY AND PATHOLOGY TEST CLAIMS to UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will be more complex after the nation’s largest health insurer announced three significant changes in its claims processing procedures. The three changes involve: • Requests for refunds from anatomic pa…

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Specimen Volume Returns at Dallas-based ProPath

CEO SUMMARY: Like other physician specialties, anatomic pathology saw a dramatic collapse in the number of daily procedures with a corresponding decline in cash flow as the COVID-19 pandemic hit with full force in March, April, and May. The good news is that the daily volume of tissue…

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Quest Reports 46% Decline in New Cancer Diagnoses in March

ONCE SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDERS WERE ENACTED IN MARCH because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of new diagnoses of cancer declined sharply in the United States. Newly-published data confirms this fact. The data also support the warnings of anatomic pathologists that—because of the pandemi…

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Proposed Medicare 2021 PFS Cuts Pathology Fees by 9%

IF THE PROPOSED MEDICARE 2012 PHYSICIAN FEE SCHEDULE (PFS) RULE—published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Aug. 4—takes effect as currently written, pathology professional fees will be cut by 9%, effective Jan. 1, 2021. This was not…

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UHC Ready to Implement New Lab Test Registry

CEO SUMMARY: UnitedHealthcare announced that its new Test-Registry Protocol will become effective on Jan. 1, 2021, creating a major billing hurdle for labs and pathology groups. By that date, a lab must register each type of test before it can submit claims for these tests to the nati…

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