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Pathology group

A pathology group is an organization of clinical pathologists working on the diagnosis of disease based on laboratory analysis of bodily fluids such as blood and urine, as well as tissues, using the tools of chemistry, clinical microbiology, hematology and molecular pathology. Clinical pathologists work in close collaboration with medical technologists, hospital administrations, and referring physicians.

The business model of a pathology group has traditionally been as a private group practice, including solo practitioner, medical group partnership, professional corporation (PC), limited liability company (LLC), and similar professional business organizations. It is common for pathology groups to have contracts with one or more hospitals to provide anatomic pathology professional services and clinical pathology professional services.

Pathology itself is a significant component of the causal study of disease and a major field in modern medicine and diagnosis. The term pathology may be used broadly to refer to the study of disease in general, incorporating a wide range of bioscience research fields and medical practices, or more narrowly to describe work within the contemporary medical field of “general pathology,” which includes a number of distinct but inter-related medical specialties which diagnose disease mostly through the analysis of tissue, cell, and body fluid samples.

Pathologists in hospital labs and pathology groups practice as consultant physicians, developing and applying knowledge of tissue and laboratory analyses to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of individual patients. As scientists, they use the tools of laboratory science in clinical studies, disease models, and other experimental systems, to advance the understanding and treatment of disease.

Clinical pathologists in a pathology group administer a number of visual and microscopic tests and an especially large variety of tests of the biophysical properties of tissue samples involving automated analyzers and cultures. Sometimes the general term “laboratory medicine specialist” is used to refer to those working in clinical pathology, including medical doctors, PhDs and doctors of pharmacology.

Immunopathology, the study of an organism’s immune response to infection, is sometimes considered to fall within the domain of clinical pathology.

Becoming a pathologist entails one of the lengthiest education and training tracks of all physicians. Requirements include four years of undergraduate study, plus four years of medical school, plus a minimum of four to five years of post-graduate training in pathology residency.

UnitedHealthcare Delays Its New Test Registry Protocol Until April 1

CLINICAL LABORATORIES AND ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY GROUPS working to register their tests with UnitedHealthcare’s (UHC) new Laboratory Test Registry Protocol just got a 90-day reprieve. UHC has delayed the start date to April 1, 2021.  …

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New Twist: HHS Exerts Authority Over FDA on LDTs

CEO SUMMARY: In a recent memo, the federal Department of Health and Human Services’ general counsel rendered a legal opinion that FDA would need to issue new regulations to regulate LDTs. By stepping into this years-long dispute and saying that FDA cannot regulate LDTs through gui…

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Medicare COVID Test Coding May Become a ‘Logistical Nightmare’

STARTING JAN. 1, 2021, clinical laboratories performing COVID-19 tests using high-throughput systems for Medicare patients must comply with a complex new coding rule when submitting claims for these tests.  The federal Centers for Med…

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Medicare Pays 500% More for Molecular Test Claims

CEO SUMMARY: Rapid growth in what Medicare spent for molecular tests in recent years may lead federal investigators to increase scrutiny of fraudulent billing for clinical laboratory and molecular pathology tests, according to a lab consultant who has tracked such spending in recent y…

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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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Understanding COVID-19’s Changes to Lab Industry

CEO SUMMARY: With the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic about to enter its eighth month in the United States, it remains difficult to predict whether the pandemic will strengthen with the fall influenza season or steadily diminish. What is clear to most pathologists and clinical laboratory executiv…

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Franciscan Missionaries Sells Lab Outreach Business to LabCorp

SINCE THE ONSET OF THE PANDEMIC IN LATE FEBRUARY, the nation’s two largest clinical lab companies have announced only two acquisitions of hospital laboratory outreach programs, one in June and one this month. Last week, LabCorp announced its acquisition of the clinical ambu…

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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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Wisconsin Lab Network Feeds Valuable Data to State Health Lab

CEO SUMMARY: From the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 138-member Wisconsin Clinical Laboratory Network has reported to the state health lab the number of COVID-19 tests, the number of positive results, as well as other data that includes data on lab testing supplies and ca…

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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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