Lab work signature rule rescinded

March 9, 2011

Good news from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): It?s decided to drop a rule that would have required you to sign requisitions for lab tests for your Medicare patients.

Good news from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): It’s decided to drop a rule that would have required you to sign requisitions for lab tests for your Medicare patients.

The signature policy has been on the books since Jan. 1, but wasn’t set to be enforced until April 1. CMS said the rule would make it easier for lab technicians to know whether a test was correctly ordered and make Medicare audits easier.

Medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, protested to CMS, saying that the requirement would create more paperwork and hurt patient care by causing delays in ordering and performing tests.

The American Clinical Laboratory Association said most test requisitions arrive at labs without physician signatures. In those cases, the new rule would have forced labs to choose between not performing the test or doing it and trying to secure the physician’s signature.