Re: Consultation charges

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In a message dated 2/23/00 1:15:52 AM, Jennifer MacDonald at San Antonio 
Community Hospital in Upland CA asks:

<<What is the industry standard for who pays when a pathologist refers slides 
to another laboratory for consultation before making a diagnosis? Is the 
patient responsible for the charges or is the pathologist?>>

Usually the patient is responsible. Many consultants in fact prefer to bill 
the patient's insurance carrier directly, and insurance I believe usually 
pays these bills without much trouble. 

For this reason, it's important to provide the necessary insurance 
information when sending the consultation out. For hospital patients, usually 
a copy of the patient's hospital record face sheet suffices.

It's important to distinguish between cases the pathologist sends out for 
consultation, and cases the distant facility requests because the patient has 
been referred there. There should be no charge for pathology review when the 
patient is referred to a different hospital. That's a quality assurance activi
ty, and a VERY important one.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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