Pathology Associates of Princeton bills for the professional component of clinical laboratory services. You may get a bill that itemizes small charges on laboratory services related to the pathologist's involvement.
Policy Statement on the billing of Professional Component of Clinical Laboratory Services, from the College of American Pathologists.
"Pathologists perform professional services as well as technical services. The variety of billing arrangements for pathologists’ services includes professional component billing. In professional component billing, while the hospital might bill the patient for the pathologist’s technical services, the pathologist can bill the patient, the patient’s insurer, or the hospital directly for professional services.
Quality laboratory services are essential to the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Pathologist directors of hospital laboratories spend a significant amount of time and effort in fulfilling their responsibility to the patient for quality laboratory services. The pathologist is professionally responsible and legally accountable for laboratory results. To prepare for this responsibility the pathologist must complete a lengthy medical residency program. Moreover, Federal certification standards and Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations standards require certain professional, organizational and administrative services be provided in the clinical laboratory to assure quality laboratory services to patients. The pathologist-director of a hospital clinical laboratory provides professional services in:
These physician services may be billed by the pathologist to the patient (or the patient’s insurer) or to the hospital as the pathologist and hospital may agree. Medicare rules require pathologists to seek payment from the hospital for the professional component of clinical pathology services to Medicare patients because the hospital’s Medicare payment rate includes payment for these physician services. Pathologists and hospitals often negotiate a different billing arrangement for the pathologist’s professional services for non-Medicare patients. The pathologist may bill a professional component for clinical laboratory services to the patient, and the hospital may bill the technical component.
Professional component billing is one valid method of billing for the professional services of pathologists in the clinical laboratory. In many communities the standard practice is for the pathologist to direct bill patients for the professional component of clinical laboratory services. When the pathologist bills a professional component to a non-Medicare patient, no payment is made by the hospital to the pathologist for this service. The hospital’s bill for the technical component covers hospital costs for laboratory equipment, supplies and non-physician personnel; it does not cover the professional services of the pathologist."
Pathologists bill for the interpretation and diagnosis of specimens taken from the tissues of the body.
Generally, each specimen has a separate charge.
In addition, special stains may be necessary to arrive at a diagnosis. Interpretation of these stains is also included in the list of charges.