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The Pⁿ Blog is a forum for opinions, questions, controversies, and instructive discussions across the field of pathology and its relevant subspecialties.
Friday, August 23, 2013
GAO Report on Anatomic Pathology
I'm about to disappear for a week of R & R, but if you want some "light" reading in the interim, I've uploaded the June report from the Government Accounting Office (GAO), entitled, "Action Needed to Address Higher Use of Anatomic Pathology Services by Providers Who Self-Refer." You can retrieve this 61 page 1.2 MB PDF file here.  If you think this topic isn't front and center on the government's cost cutting "radar screen" this report should convince you otherwise.  If you're an independent lab and your urology, GI, or dermatology colleagues are thinking about going into business for themselves and pocketing all those "lucrative" 88305 technical charges :-) send them a copy of this report, not to mention the data on the reduced 88305 technical payments.  And if you think self-referral doesn't needlessly increase costs, take a look at the data on the "switchers," those who went from a standard system to an in-house system.
Dr. Gerson Paull said:
In your pathology lab, Dr. Mills, do you do a special stain for H. pylori on all gastric biopsies up front or only those which show gastritis? [Dr. Mills reply - right now we're doing this reflexively because a few years back the gastroenterologists requested that approach to save time. However, this is certainly questionable and, in fact, the GI Path Society is in the process of publishing an opinion paper suggesting that this approach is not warranted. .... so I suspect we'll end up changing this shortly.]
About the Author

Stacey E. Mills, MD
Stacey E. Mills, MD, a graduate of University of Virginia (UVA) and the UVA Medical Center, has authored nearly 230 articles, 20+ books, atlases and monographs—including the renowned Sternberg's Diagnostic Surgical Pathology. He has been a practicing Professor and Staff Pathologist at UVA for 30+ years and is Director of Surgical Pathology and Cytopathology. His clinical specialty is general surgical pathology with emphasis on neoplasms and neoplasm-like lesions. Dr. Mills is also Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Surgical Pathology.