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Session Law

2006

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Chapter 174 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR DIRECT BILLING OF CERTAIN PATHOLOGY TESTS.

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to compensate forthwith certain court employees, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Chapter 118G of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:—

Section 29. (a) For the purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:-

“Anatomic pathology service”, histopathology, surgical pathology, cytopathology, hematology, sub-cellular pathology, molecular pathology and blood-banking services performed by a pathologist.
“Cytopathology”, the examination of cells from the following:

(i) fluids;
(ii) aspirates;
(iii) washings;
(iv) brushings;
(v) or smears, including the pap test examination performed by a physician or under the supervision of a physician.

“Hematology”, 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.
“Histopathology or surgical pathology”, the gross and microscopic examination of organ tissue performed by a physician or under the supervision of a physician.

(b) A clinical laboratory or physician providing anatomic pathology services for patients in the commonwealth shall present or cause to be presented a claim, bill or demand for payment for these services only to the following:

(i) the patient directly;
(ii) the responsible insurer or other third-party payor;
(iii) the hospital, public health clinic or nonprofit health clinic ordering such services;
(iv) the referral laboratory or a physician’s office laboratory when the physician of such laboratory performs the anatomic pathology service; or
(v) the governmental agency or its specified public or private agent, agency or organization on behalf of the recipient of the services.

(c) Except as provided under this section, no licensed practitioner shall, 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 under section 353 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 263a).

(d) No patient, insurer, third party payor, hospital, public health clinic or non-profit health clinic shall be required to reimburse any licensed practitioner for charges or claims submitted in violation of this section.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to mandate the assignment of benefits for anatomic pathology services.

(f) This section shall not prohibit billing between laboratories for anatomic pathology services in instances where a sample or samples must be sent to another specialist. This paragraph shall not permit billing for anatomic pathology services of a physician’s office laboratory when the physician of such laboratory has not performed the anatomic pathology service.

(g) The board of registration in medicine may revoke, suspend or deny renewal of the license of any practitioner who violates this section.

Approved, July 21, 2006.

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