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Lab User's Guide

Our laboratory employs highly trained professionals and support staff. State of the art instrumentation, techniques and data processing allow us to deliver laboratory services backed by quality assurance programs and accreditation by the College of American Pathologists. This User’s Guide represents the efforts of managers, pathologists, technologists, and support staff to provide you with a comprehensive and practical guide to our laboratory services. It is intended to assist you in the ordering and collection of laboratory work on your patients. Should you need additional information, please contact Deaconess Hospital Laboratory at 812-450-4LAB.

Laboratory Operations
The hospital’s laboratories are located at Deaconess Hospital 600 Mary Street Evansville Indiana and at the Gateway Hospital 4011 Gateway Blvd. Newburgh Indiana. Both campuses provide service 24 hours a day, seven days a week with Medical Technologists on duty and a Pathologist available at all times.

The Pathologist on-call may be contacted for services needed after normal working hours, on weekends and on holidays. Personnel in the Lab may be contacted 24 hours a day for assistance, by phoning (812)450-4LAB.

Accreditation/Licensure
Deaconess Hospital Laboratory maintains a current CLIA certificate with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and holds all other necessary state licenses. A copy of the DRL accreditation and licensure can be found here.

Reference Laboratory Testing
Some tests are referred from our laboratory to a reference laboratory and require additional turnaround time for transport to that lab.

General Information

Insurance Coverage of Laboratory Tests
When ordering outpatient laboratory tests billed to Medicare/Medicaid or other federally funded programs, the following requirements may apply:

  • Only tests that are medically necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of the patient can be billed to Medicare. Medicare does not pay for screening tests, except for certain specifically approved procedures, and may not pay for non-FDA-approved tests or those tests considered experimental.
  • If there is reason to believe that insurance will not pay for a test, the patient should be informed. The patient should sign an Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) if Medicare, or an Insurance Waiver, if commercial insurance, to indicate that he or she is responsible for the cost of the test if payment is denied.
  • The ordering physician should provide an ICD-10 diagnosis code, not a narrative description.
  • Organ- or disease-oriented panels can be billed only when all components of the panel are medically necessary.
  • Both Deaconess Hospital and any other reference laboratory customized panels should be billed to payer only when every component of the customized panel is medically necessary.

Panels
Deaconess Hospital Laboratory offers groups of tests based on accepted clinical practice, as well as those that are defined by the American Medical Association Current Procedural Terminology (CPT). All components of these "panels" may be also be ordered individually, unless otherwise indicated.

Referral Testing
Deaconess Hospital Laboratory provides a house test menu of over 1,500 tests and test combinations by selecting primary vendors to perform tests not performed at our laboratory. Primary vendors are selected based upon aspects of service, quality, reliability, turnaround time and price. We reserve the right to change vendors, test parameters and charges for referral testing at any time. For questions please contact Deaconess Hospital Laboratory at 812-450-4LAB.

Reporting

  • Autofax - Electronic transfer of test results are provided through Deaconess Regional Laboratory to a dedicated fax.
  • Electronic Reports - Electronic Transfer of test results allow for immediate availability as soon as Deaconess Regional Laboratory reports results. For offices that utilize an electronic medical record (EMR), results interface directly to the EMR.
  • Mailed Reports - If faxed or electronic reports are not an option, reports are mailed.

 

Stat Testing
Client facilities - Contact the Deaconess Regional Lab at 812-450-4LAB to schedule a collection or pick-up.

Supply Orders
Collection supplies and forms are provided for the collection and transfer of laboratory specimens. The Client Supply Requisition is available online.

Amended Reports
In the event that a test result has been reported incorrectly, an amended report is generated. The newly generated report denotes the corrected value and what the test value was reported previously. Amended reports are available immediately.

Billing
For client billing, each month an itemized invoice/statement is generated, indicating the date of service, patient name, CPT code, test name and test charge. When making a payment please include the invoice number on your check. To pay by credit card, please call (812)450-1604.

Please advise your patients that they will receive a bill for laboratory services from Deaconess Hospital.

Animal Specimens
Deaconess Hospital Laboratory does not accept animal specimens for laboratory testing.

Cancellation of Tests
Cancellations received prior to test analysis will be honored at no charge. Cancellation request received after analysis may not be honored. A report is issued automatically and charged appropriately.

Confidentiality of Results
Deaconess Hospital Laboratory and Deaconess Regional Laboratory are committed to maintaining the confidentiality of patient information. To ensure HIPPA compliance, the following policies have been adopted:

Telephone inquiries: Prior to releasing results to a patient, an authorization for medical release must be signed by the patient. Unless noted on the medical release, results will only be released to the patient. Signing up for MyChart will also give patients access to results.

Fax: All faxed laboratory reports are sent with a cover page explaining our confidentiality policies, noting that the material being sent is confidential. Contact information and instructions are provided to the recipient in case of transmittal error.

HIV Screening
The State of Indiana law for HIV screening (IC 16-41-6-1) states that a person may not perform a screening or confirmatory test for the antibody to HIV without the written consent of the individual to be tested or a representative. For physician practices that collect their own blood samples, Deaconess Regional Laboratory requires that the consent be obtained at the time of sample collections and that the consent be kept on location as part of the patient's medical record. By sending DRL a sample and order for an HIV screening the physician's office is acknowledging to DRL that a consent has been obtained and is being kept as part of the patient medical record. As a result, it is not necessary to send a copy of the consent to DRL along with the sample. If the need arises, DRL may request a copy of the signed consent.

Informed Consent Certification
Submission of an order for any tests contained in this User Guide constitutes the certification by the ordering physician that:

  • The physician has obtained the "Informed Consent" as required by any applicable state or federal laws with respect to each test ordered.
  • Patient authorization has been obtained permitting Deaconess Regional Laboratory to report the results of each test ordered directly to the physician.

 

Critical Values
Critical Values are defined by the Department of Pathology.

Patient Identification Accuracy
Specimens lacking two unique patient identifiers or no identification will be rejected. The proper identification of patient specimens is strictly adhered to for quality patient care and safety. The College of American Pathologist Laboratory Checklist specifies the need for proper identification; "Specimens lacking proper identification or accompanying requisition will not be accepted."

Compliance requires that the same demographic information be properly labeled on the requisition. If a discrepancy has been identified upon receipt of the specimen, we will notify you and reconcile the discrepancy.

Reference Ranges
Deaconess Hospital Laboratory strives to provide clear, unambiguous reference intervals. For example, an age group listed, as 0 to 2 years should be used for all subjects from birth up to their third birthday. When reference values have been obtained from the literature, Deaconess Hospital Laboratory conducts validation testing to confirm the range. Deaconess Hospital Laboratory may revise the literature-provided age groups in order to conform to our standard style.

Specimen Rejection
All specimens are unique in their testing requirements. To avoid specimen rejection or delayed turnaround time, check the specimen required field within each test. You will be notified of rejection or problems on receipt.

Specimen Transport
Inpatient specimens should be transported to the laboratory soon after collection or within one hour to facilitate testing. Many specimens may shipped in the pneumatic tube system. Please refer to instructions at pneumatic tube systems for acceptable specimens and packing/shipping instructions.

Deaconess Regional Laboratory specimens should be stored based upon the specimen requirements found in the test directory at the client's office until transported by a DRL courier.

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