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Management of Pathology Practices
Ten Ways to Improve Your Requisitions

Author: Leigh Polk, Business Support Services Director, McKesson Business Performance Services
Posted: 11 October 2013
Copyright: (c) 2013, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

In 2012, approximately 50% of calls answered by Patient Service Representatives were related to missing, inaccurate or illegible information from referring physician offices. This resulted in frustrated patients, delayed payments and an unproductive use of resources, which could cause a potential loss of business from referring physicians.

Listed below are ten ways to enhance your requisition's effectiveness and capture complete, accurate and legible information, which can also help improve work-flow in your client offices.

1. Provide a Section for Clinical History: Request clinical history verbiage versus numerical diagnosis codes, as they change annually. This information is essential for diagnosis coding.

2. Utilize a Full Page: Allow ample room to write legibly and capture all information needed. A requisition is intended for the office staff to communicate all information needed to the laboratory.

3. Incorporate Headers: Place bold and/or highlighted headers on the requisition to make it more user-friendly for the office staff.

4. Color Code Essential Sections: Color code or shade mandatory boxes to ensure that all required information is obtained and not overlooked.

5. Include Check Off Boxes: The office staff is busy and anything you can do to make their job easier is a benefit.

6. Ask for Referring Physician Name: Include ways to obtain the ordering physician's name if it does not print automatically.

7. Develop Specialty Specific Forms: Gastroenterology and urology practices will appreciate the specialty specific data and the quick fill elements on the requisition.

8. Add a Diagram: Providing a diagram of the prostate, for example, is very useful for urology practices. Always strive to differentiate your laboratory from the competition.

9. Obtain Reason for Testing: It is important to obtain signs and symptoms or reason for testing in addition to the patient's clinical history as coders cannot assign diagnoses that are uncertain. This information is used to support the medical necessity of ordered tests.

10. Utilize EHR Technology: If EHR technology is available, obtain required information electronically by creating mandatory fields that cannot be bypassed.

As ICD-10 approaches, more and more information will be needed to code and bill accurately. Pathology practices and laboratories can secure a smoother transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 by ensuring they receive complete diagnosis and demographic information from referring physicians on every case.

PSA, now part of McKesson, specializes in pathology and clinical laboratory billing, marketing, and business support services. For questions related to this topic or to learn more, please click here or contact Leigh Polk at 1-800-832-5270 ext. 2941 or Leigh.Polk@McKesson.com.

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