CMS to Require Physician Signature on Lab Test Requisitions

CMS is finalizing, without modification its controversial proposed policy to require the signature of a physician or nonphysician practitioner (NPP) on requisitions for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests paid under the Medicare Part B lab fee schedule. CMS apparently intends to impose the requirement as soon as it can amend the underlying manuals. In setting forth the details, CMS reinforced the distinction it is making between a written test "order" and a test "requisition." These are two different documents, the agency said, although a requisition that is signed may serve as an order. In finalizing its proposal, CMS stuck to its original argument that the new policy signature for all requisitions and orders eliminates uncertainty over whether the documentation is a requisition or an order, whether the type of test being ordered requires a signature, or which payment system does or does not require a physician or NPP signature. Source: G-2 National Intelligence Report Vol. 10, lss.20, November 4, 2010


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