General Information

View detailed information pertaining to laboratory policies, coding, ordering, and testing.

Notices

An ABN is a written document used to notify a Medicare patient of the likelihood that Medicare will deny payment for the ordered test(s). The ABN indicates the patient’s agreement to accept responsibility for payment in the event Medicare does, in fact, deny payment. Meadville Medical Center Laboratory will only have ABNs signed if there is a reason to believe that Medicare will not pay for the ordered procedure. In order for the ABN to be valid, the ABN must be presented before the specimen is collected. Presenting the ABN to the patient and getting it signed is the responsibility of the personnel collecting the specimen. This could include phlebotomists, laboratory technicians, nurses or physician office personnel.

Coding

CPT codes are listed in the Test Menu in an effort to provide some guidance for billing purposes. However, the CPT codes listed only reflect our interpretation of CPT code requirements and are subject to change. Meadville Medical Center Laboratory assumes no responsibility of other office’s billing errors due to reliance on the CPT codes listed. CPT codes for reference tests are provided to Meadville Medical Center Laboratory by the testing laboratory.

The ICD-10CM diagnostic codes are required with all lab tests ordered. This requirement is in compliance with Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations. For your convenience, we have provided a list of most commonly used ICD-10 codes on our test request forms. This list is a guide only. It is the ordering physician’s responsibility to assure the assignment of correct ICD-10 codes. We also provide the Medical Necessity Guidelines. This is a comprehensive guide for ICD-10 coding that relates to specific laboratory tests according to the Medicare requirements.

NOTE: If diagnostic information is not provided with the test order, we are required to obtain this information from the ordering physician.

Orders

For your convenience, the orders may be faxed to the following numbers:

  • Liberty Street Facility: 814-333-5188
  • Vernon Lab: 814-724-8943

Occasionally we receive a request for additional tests to be added to a specimen that has recently been collected. In compliance with Medicare regulations, the Specimen Add-On Order form is to be used for all add-on orders. After this form is faxed to the lab at 814-333-5469 the order will be processed.

The test order must be submitted on an order form provided by Meadville Medical Center Laboratory. The order must include the patient name, date, test(s) ordered and the relevant diagnosis(es) with corresponding ICD-10 codes.

It is vital that we receive complete registration information with all referred specimens. In the event of missed information, we will fax a Registration Alert form to your office notifying you of the missing required information. The specimen will be held until we receive the needed data. Every effort will be made to retain the integrity of the specimen until it is registered. The specimen will then be processed as soon as registered.

Standing orders are used as part of an extended course of treatment. The original test order must be submitted on an order form provided by Meadville Medical Center Laboratory. The standing order must include the patient name, date, test(s) ordered and the relevant diagnosis(es) with corresponding ICD-10 codes. Meadville Medical Center Laboratory will consider the standing order valid for up to six months. At the end of the six-month period, the standing order is discontinued. If a patient’s condition changes, requiring a revision to the existing standing order, a written update must be sent to our laboratory.

NOTE: For the convenience of our patients, recurring registration numbers are assigned to patients with standing orders by the Registration Department of Meadville Medical Center. These numbers are valid for one month from the date of registration.

All verbal orders for laboratory tests are to be followed by a written order. Diagnostic codes must accompany the verbal order. The follow-up written order must be received by next business day.

Patient Information and Consent

Laboratory Testing

Meadville Medical Center Laboratory will only have ABNs signed if there is a reason to believe that Medicare will not pay for the ordered procedure. In order for the ABN to be valid, the ABN must be presented before the specimen is collected. Presenting the ABN to the patient and getting it signed is the responsibility of the personnel collecting the specimen. View more information above in our notices section.

Meadville Medical Center Laboratory does not charge for test results that are determined by calculation. These results are automatically provided by laboratory analyzers that perform the underlying and prerequisite tests and require no additional inputs or expenditures.

Request for cancellation of tests will be honored only if received prior to completion of test. Meadville Medical Center Laboratory will not charge for cancelled tests.

Associated Clinical/Quest Laboratories provided all reference test information. Meadville Medical Center Laboratory has attempted to provide comprehensive information for your guidance.

Reflexed testing is the automatic inclusion of certain laboratory tests if considered medically appropriate. These reflexed tests are performed only if certain conditions are met and always supply added useful information. Additional charges will be incurred under these circumstances.

Lab results are normally reported to the patient’s physician. However, following federal HIPPA regulations, patients may receive copies of their own results. The “Consent for Release of Information” (Form #60070) must be signed by the patient. This form may be acquired at MMC Medical Records. A separate form is required for each occasion.

Patient Portal: Patients now have the ability to view their LAB results online. The Patient Portal is a free service that allows our patients to have convenient online access to vital components of their medical record, including LAB results. Inquire in person at the Registration department to enroll in this service.

According to the “Stark” Medicare regulations, it is unlawful for Meadville Medical Center Laboratory to provide laboratory supplies if they are not used for testing by Meadville Medical Center Laboratory. All specimen collection supplies are available at no cost providing they are used for testing by Meadville Medical Center Laboratory. Supplies include: specimen vials, special specimen collection containers and kits, stool containers and request forms.

This site contains most of the tests performed at Meadville Medical Center Laboratory, but is not all inclusive. However, only a portion of our reference tests are included due to space considerations. Please call Meadville Medical Center Laboratory at 814-333-5511 if you are questioning availability of a test not listed.

This site lists the days on which the test is set up as a guide to expected turnaround times. Repeated tests take additional time. Reference testing is performed at various laboratories. Due to this geographical difference, the actual turnaround time will vary.

Community Health Services (CHS) Transportation provides courier service for laboratory specimens. This service is available to physician offices 7 days a week, 24 hours per day for scheduled, random and STAT specimens. For the convenience of the physician office and transport service, scheduled pick-up times can be established. Call 814-333-7091 for courier service.

Some specimens cannot be analyzed because of improper collection or degradation in transit. Other specimens may have prolonged turnaround times due to lack of necessary specimen or patient information. The physician office will be notified of rejected or problem specimens upon receipt. If a specimen is rejected, the patient will not be billed. Meadville Medical Center Laboratory reserves the right to reject any specimen that does not meet our requirements. Please refer to the Test Menu for collection requirements. The following elements must be correct for an acceptable specimen:

  • Current expiration date for all specimen containers or devices
  • Entire 24 hour specimen for timed urine collection
  • Hemolysis-free specimen
  • Correct pH of urine
  • Required patient information
  • Specimen container (sterile, metal-free, separation gel, etc.)
  • Specimen properly identified and legible
  • Specimen type (serum, whole blood, plasma, etc.)
  • Specimen volume
  • Temperature (ambient, refrigerated, frozen)
  • Transport medium/collection kit


NOTE: Any unlabeled specimen will be immediately discarded.

If Meadville Medical Center Laboratory is unable to obtain a satisfactory analytic result, the ordering physician will be notified. The patient will not be billed.