Ambiguous or Unclear Test Orders

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Medicare Compliance for Clinical Laboratories. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Ambiguous or Unclear Test Orders

When the orders for a test are not absolutely clear, the laboratory must contact the ordering physician to clarify the orders before performing and billing for the test. Do not attempt to guess what the order is.
  • The laboratory cannot perform and bill for tests that are not specifically ordered.
  • The laboratory cannot change a physician order without contacting the physician.
  • In any case where specimen integrity or patient care will be compromised by a delay in testing, follow the policies the laboratory has established for such cases.