February 20, 2012 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

In its effort to change how code stacking is used to bill for certain genetic and molecular tests, Palmetto GBA announced changes to its Molecular Diagnostic Services Program (MolDx). Earlier this month, the Medicare carrier announced that the effective date for claim submissions under MolDx would move from March 1, 2012, to May 1, 2012. Laboratories will also have the option of applying for a McKesson Z-Code or using the Palmetto Test Indicator (PTI), an alternate test identifier developed by Palmetto. These changes affect the J1 Region.

MORE ON: Palmetto

Where labs will be unable to implement systems to meet the information timetables for MolDx, Palmetto has amended its electronic claims fax cover sheet to incorporate the test identifier. This fax “attachment” can accompany an electronic claim. In situations where no test identifier (Z-Code or PTI) has been issued, Palmetto has released a MolDx test information form.


Few labs have implemented some type of customer relationship management (CRM) system. CRMs generally act as an integrator of data that resides in the multitude of information systems typically used by a busy clinical laboratory organization. This month, hc1.com, a division of Bostech Corporation, announced the release of a CRM-type of system designed for use by clinical laboratories. It is called “hc1.com Opportunity Management System.” It is designed to integrate what are currently silos of information within a lab.


Bostech says that this system pulls together information that allows the lab’s team to watch, in real-time, all activities involving clients. Among other functions, it uses links to internal lab processes to compare actual client volume with forecasted volume. Enterprise-wide software systems—such as that sold by SAP of Mannheim, Germany—are widely used by non-healthcare companies. Within the lab industry, one of the first lab companies to implement a robust CRM solution was Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories (PAML), of Spokane, Washington. It began using a CRM about six years ago and later sold this customized CRM and the related suite of integrated solutions it had developed to Sunquest Information Systems.

Dark Daily Update

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…how recent court decisions in three cases—Prometheus, Myriad, and Classen—are viewed as clarifying patent laws as they apply to life sciences patents. Labs often pay to use these patents.

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