In the past few years I have discovered some websites that have been great resources for lab and basic medical information. Check them out and see if they can answer any questions you or an account may have.
- American Association for Clinical Chemistry (www.aacc.org). Information pertaining to lab issues from regulation to new testing that’s available. AACC offers a special section for the laboratory marketplace.
- Medicare reimbursement fees for 2012 (http://www.cms.gov/ClinicalLabFeeSched/02_clinlab.asp#TopOfPage.) This spreadsheet will give you the starting point for what a practice can expect to be paid for a certain lab test. Under the DOWNLOAD list: click on 12CLAB [ZIP/XLSX/TXT]. Follow the instructions from that point.
- CLIA application (www.cms.gov/clia). Download the CMS Form 116, which is the CLIA application form.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov). Click on the “L” for a list of lab related items you can use (e.g., biosafety, lab guidelines and standards, lab personnel issues and lab practices). One of the most recent PDFs is a “waived lab guide,” which your physician office customers can use to set up and run waived tests properly.
- Lab Tests Online®, a public resource on clinical lab testing (www.labtestsonline.org). Information such as the meaning of a test, when/ why it’s ordered, and normal ranges. This site also has an app function for mobile devices.
- HCPro (www.hcpro.com). OSHA compliance quick tips link, with up-to-date OSHA information regarding health issues. The newsletter is easy to read, and you can quickly see what applies to you and what doesn’t.
- Clinical Laboratory Management Association, an association of nearly 3,000 clinical laboratory professionals (www.clma.org). Includes the latest news on lab regulations, coding and some testing. Sign up for the newsletter. You may only use about 10 percent of the information, but it will be worth it.
- COLA, a physician-directed organization whose purpose is to promote excellence in laboratory medicine and patient care through a program of education, consultation, and accreditation (www.cola.org). A resource for training and certification for any lab issues.
- Medical Laboratory Observer, ADVANCE for Administrators of the Laboratory, ADVANCE for Medical Laboratory Professionals – three magazines techs use to stay up on new products and medical concerns (www.mlo-online.com, http://laboratory-manager.advanceweb.com/, http://laboratorian.advanceweb.com).
Remember, you don’t need to know everything … you just need to know where to find it. So next time you’re asked a question about lab or need to do some quick research, just reach for that little TV screen on your hip, type in a few words, and look like a genius.
— By Tim Duams