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CMS Proposes to Rescind the Signature Requirement for Lab Requisitions Required under the 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed to rescind the current signature requirement for lab requisitions. Currently, the 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule requires a physician’s or nonphysician provider’s signature on all lab requisitions for tests paid under the clinical lab fee schedule, regardless of whether there is a signed order. This requirement was to become effective at the beginning of 2011. However, CMS decided to postpone this requirement due to commentary by providers, labs and other stakeholders of the health care industry. The signature requirement on lab requisitions was proposed by CMS as a way to reduce fraud and improper payments. Recently, CMS has stated it underestimated the burdens that the rule would have on quality of care due to the amount of time it takes providers to obtain the required signatures, especially for providers who do not use electronic health records.

If you have any questions regarding compliance with the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, or need help defending against a current or future audit, please contact a Wachler & Associates attorney at 248-544-0888.