Update on Physician Signature Requirement on Part B Lab Requisitions
We have been informed that on March 31, 2011, CMS issued a transmittal to Part B carriers and the physician community regarding the physician signature requirement for Part B laboratory requisitions. The transmittal to the physician community appears below.
We hope that it is clear to the Part B carriers that they are not to enforce the current physician signature rule. However, if your hear anything from your Medicare Part B carrier that they intend to enforce the rule, please contact us immediately.
CMS Transmittal to the Physician Community
From: Medicare information for physicians [mailto:PHYSICIANS-L@LIST.NIH.GOV] On Behalf Of CMS CMSProviderResource
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011 11:46 AM
Subject: Signature on Requisition for Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests
In the Monday, November 29, 2010, Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized its proposed policy to require a physician’s or qualified non-physician practitioner’s (NPP) signature on requisitions for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests paid under the clinical laboratory fee schedule effective Saturday, January 1, 2011. (A requisition is the actual paperwork, such as a form, which is provided to a clinical diagnostic laboratory that identifies the test or tests to be performed for a patient.)
On Monday, December 20, 2010, CMS informed its contractors of concerns that some physicians, NPPs, and clinical diagnostic laboratories are not aware of or do not understand this policy. As such, CMS indicated that it will focus in the first quarter of 2011 on developing educational and outreach materials to educate those affected by this policy. CMS indicated that once the first quarter educational campaign is fully underway, it will expect requisitions to be signed.
After further input from community, CMS has decided to focus for the remainder of 2011 on changing the regulation that requires signatures on laboratory requisitions because of concerns that physicians, NPPs, and clinical diagnostic laboratories are having difficulty complying with this policy.