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CMS reminds providers of pathology billing change effective July 1

May 22, 2012

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is reminding health care providers that independent laboratories may no longer bill Medicare directly for the technical component of physician pathology services furnished to hospital patients on or after July 1, when a statutory moratorium allowing the practice expires. AHA supports passage of the Physician Pathology Services Continuity Act (H.R. 2461), which would allow Medicare to continue paying independent laboratories directly for the technical component. Eliminating direct payment to independent labs would be especially burdensome for small and rural hospitals, which often lack the surgical volume necessary to support in-house services and instead rely heavily on independent labs for physician pathology services.