48.43.078  <<  48.43.081 >>   48.43.083

Anatomic pathology servicesPayment for servicesDefinitions.

(1) A clinical laboratory or physician, located in this state, or in another state, providing anatomic pathology services for patients in this state, shall present or cause to be presented a claim, bill, or demand for payment for these services only to the following:
(a) The patient;
(b) The responsible insurer or other third-party payer;
(c) The hospital, public health clinic, or nonprofit health clinic ordering such services;
(d) A direct patient-provider primary care practice regulated by chapter 48.150 RCW, provided the practice:
(i) Is in compliance with all applicable provisions of law to regulate that practice;
(ii) Has furnished a written confirmation to the physician or laboratory providing the anatomic pathology service that the patient is not covered for anatomic pathology services under any health insurance plan or program;
(iii) Furnishes the patient with an itemized bill that does not, directly or indirectly, mark up or increase the actual amount billed by the physician or clinical laboratory that performed the service; and
(iv) Discloses to the patient, through printed material or through a web site, that all anatomic pathology services are billed at exactly the amount charged for the service by the physician or laboratory that provided the service, and the identity of the provider;
(e) The referring laboratory, excluding a laboratory of a physician's office or group practice that does not perform the professional component of the anatomic pathology service for which such claim, bill, or demand is presented; or
(f) Governmental agencies or their specified public or private agent, agency, or organization on behalf of the recipient of the services.
(2) Except for a physician at a referring laboratory that has been billed pursuant to subsection (1)(d) or (6) of this section, no licensed practitioner in the state may, directly or indirectly, charge, bill, or otherwise solicit payment for anatomic pathology services unless such services were rendered personally by the licensed practitioner or under the licensed practitioner's direct supervision in accordance with section 353 of the public health service act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 263a).
(3) No patient, insurer, third-party payer, hospital, public health clinic, or nonprofit health clinic may be required to reimburse any licensed practitioner for charges or claims submitted in violation of this section.
(4) Nothing in this section may be construed to mandate the assignment of benefits for anatomic pathology services as defined in this section.
(5) For purposes of this section, "anatomic pathology services" means:
(a) Histopathology or surgical pathology, meaning the gross and microscopic examination performed by a physician or under the supervision of a physician, including histologic processing;
(b) Cytopathology, meaning the microscopic examination of cells from the following: (i) Fluids, (ii) aspirates, (iii) washings, (iv) brushings, or (v) smears, including the pap test examination performed by a physician or under the supervision of a physician;
(c) Hematology, meaning the microscopic evaluation of bone marrow aspirates and biopsies performed by a physician, or under the supervision of a physician, and peripheral blood smears when the attending or treating physician, or technologist requests that a blood smear be reviewed by a pathologist;
(d) Subcellular pathology or molecular pathology, meaning the assessment of a patient specimen for the detection, localization, measurement, or analysis of one or more protein or nucleic acid targets; and
(e) Blood-banking services performed by pathologists.
(6) The provisions of this section do not prohibit billing of a referring laboratory for anatomic pathology services in instances where a sample or samples must be sent to another physician or laboratory for consultation or histologic processing, except that for purposes of this subsection the term "referring laboratory" does not include a laboratory of a physician's office or group practice that does not perform the professional component of the anatomic pathology service involved.
(7) The uniform disciplinary act, chapter 18.130 RCW, governs the discipline of any practitioner who violates the provisions of this section.

NOTES:

Retroactive application2012 c 100: "Section 1 of this act applies retroactively to July 22, 2011, so that no entity is liable for having presented or caused to be presented a claim, bill, or demand for payment to a direct patient-provider primary care practice in accordance with section 1(1)(d) of this act." [ 2012 c 100 § 2.]
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