Great News! ― CMS Delays Ruling on Physician Signature on Lab Reqs!

On the afternoon of December 16, 2010, I listened to the very informative Washington G2 Reports webinar entitled “Challenges Ahead for Clinical Laboratories: Addressing Medicare’s New Policy on Lab Requisitions and Other Changes for 2011.” One of the presenters, Alan Mertz, President of ACLA (, shared that he spoke that morning with Jonathan Blum, Center for Medicare Deputy Administrator and Director at CMS, and that Mr. Blum authorized Alan to announce that CMS is going to delay the ruling!! At this point, the length of the delay is unknown. ACLA thinks shorter rather than longer. Expect an official announcement via CMS transmittal in the next few days.

You can check for the transmittal at On the bottom right of the main page you will find the “Top 10 Links.” Click on “Transmittals,” and then select “2010 Transmittals.” As soon as the CMS posts this news, you will find it here, and we can all begin shouting from the mountaintop.

I thank all of you for the many questions posted here on colLABoration and on Orchard’s user groups. On your behalf, I posed them to the webinar presenters who agreed they were challenging questions from the real world. ACLA will take your questions along with many others, to their next series of meetings with CMS in hopes of clarifying the lab industry’s concerns. Keep the questions coming by submitting them directly to Alan at ACLA or by commenting on the final rule (instructions in my December 9, 2010, blog post).

My favorite quote from the webinar was the person who commented that every administrator in CMS should be required to spend an evening in a busy lab accessioning area. There’s a reality check for you!

Ginger Wooster, MBA, MT (ASCP)
Director of Regulatory Affairs & Applications Specialist
Orchard Software Corporation

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