Health Information Management

‘Clarification’ muddies the waters on lab order signatures

Briefings on APCs, December 1, 2009

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In the proposed rule, CMS includes a section on physician orders and restates what it calls its “long-standing” policy that the ordering physician or nonphysician practitioner must sign the written order for diagnostic tests, such as x-rays and lab tests. CMS says its policy does not require signatures on requisitions for lab tests.

Despite what CMS now says was long-standing policy, Hoy says many healthcare organizations have operated under CMS’ previously stated position that they did not need a signed order for laboratory tests.

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