UPDATE

June 17, 2016

 

CSP Supported Bill to Eliminate State Lab Licensing Stalls/ But Changes Occur
 
The CSP supported AB 1774 (Bonilla) that would implement the recommendation of the State Auditor's review of Laboratory Field Services (LFS) performance in the licensing, inspection and regulation of clinical laboratories. Their recommendation was to eliminate separate state licensure of labs and rely on federal CLIA certification. The State Audit, which is a follow-up to a previous audit in 2008, found many areas of failure, poor performance and little improvement.
 
The CSP participated in multiple meetings with the author and other lab organizations. Though AB 1774 passed the Assembly Business and Professions Committee on a unanimous vote of 18-0 it was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee based upon the impact on state revenues and not a vote on the merits. Some lab organizations and the unions that represent lab personnel continued to question the wisdom of removing state licensing even though LFS could continue to inspect or investigate any clinical laboratory based upon a complaint.
 
What has happened in the last month is that LFS has finally approved or given deemed status to two important accrediting organizations, both the CAP and JCAHO. Both have waited years for approval and now join COLA as approved accrediting organizations. A lab can now indicate accreditation by any of these entities on their license renewals and not be subject to routine inspections by LFS. LFS can still inspect upon complaint or do validation surveys. Here is a link to the all laboratories letter from LFS that provides all the details.
 
There are also likely more changes to be made by LFS as they attempt to address the recommendations for change made by the State Auditor. Some of those include an evaluation of current state license fees with hopeful reductions to be forthcoming. The Auditor found that LFS overcharged labs by $1M in 2014. LFS has also tried to ramp up their regulatory overhaul on lab personnel standards which again have been languishing for many years. We will continue to engage in the reform process.
  

AB 2325 to Require Pathologist Reporting to Ca. Cancer Registry

The CSP is supporting AB 2325 (Bonilla) that would require pathologists to report any cancer diagnosis to the Ca. Cancer Registry (CCR) using an electronic reporting process approved by CCR. The requirement would be triggered on 1/1/19.

The CSP continues active engagement with the CCR and other stakeholders in the Cancer Data Modernization Consortium that will help develop the use of a standardized synoptic reporting process for use with the CCR. We are focused on the CAP electronic cancer checklist (eCC). The current CCR process has resulted in long delays in the entry of cancer diagnosis and we feel that shifting to the (eCC) process will greatly improve real time reporting and the ability to use that data by treating physicians and researchers. The (eCC) has been piloted in several hospital health systems in California and that experience is being explored by the Consortium.

At our request AB 2325 has been amended to allow maximum flexibility in pathologists submitting data electronically so long as the required cancer data elements are included. The pathologists will not be responsible to submit demographic or other data that they do not have access to or is not accessible. 

AB 2325 has passed the Assembly and should be on the floor of the Senate for final vote in the coming months.


Medi-Cal Announces Revised Lab Rates for 2016

Medi-Cal has recently announced revised lab rates that will take effect on 7/1/16. This is the ongoing process by DHCS where they solicit payment data from lab providers that represent 80% of the provider's payments, excluding Medicare and Medi-Cal, and then take the average of the lowest payment amount.
 
This second round only included about 240 codes that are being re-priced even though the first adjusted fee schedule included about 360 codes. Apparently if there was no payment data submitted on a specific code or insufficient data then DHCS didn't change the price and it is not on the new list. To find the allowable on a code that is not on the new list you would go to the lab fee schedule which is the second link pasted below.
 
These lab rates do include some anatomic pathology procedures and in this revision 88300, 88304, and 88305 were adjusted whereas 88302, 88307 and 88309 are unchanged.
 
Here is the email from DHCS on the new rates:
 
This notification is to advise you that the new rates for codes affected by the new methodology have been posted onto the DHCS Clinical Laboratories and Laboratory Services Rate Methodology Change webpage.  The rates will be effective July 1, 2016.  The below link below will take you to the webpage then you can click on the "New Methodology Rates by Code" to view.
 
Here is the link to all the lab rates:


Florida Society of Pathologists 2016 Summer Anatomic Pathology Conference
July 23-24, 2016
Four Seasons in Palm Beach, Florida. 

For more information about this meeting, please visit:
https://flpath.org/meetings/FSP-2016-summer-anatomic-pathology-conference
 

 

California Society of Pathologists
One Capitol Mall Suite 800
Sacramento, CA 95814 
Tel : 916-446-6001
Fax :  916-444-7462