Pathology FAQs

On March 2, 2013, the American Academy of Dermatology Association’s (AADA's)  Board of Directors unanimously approved a new position statement on pathology billing. The position statement is intended to educate AADA members about the appropriateness of and risks associated with performing and/or billing for dermatopathology services. 

Whether and how the new statement applies to you will depend on how your individual practice provides, purchases, and bills for dermatopathology services, as well as applicable state and federal laws and individual payer policies. The information below addresses some specific questions arising from the new position statement. This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to be, and should not be, relied upon as legal advice.

Can I bill for dermatopathology work I perform in my own lab?

Generally, yes, as long as you are actually performing the work. However, you may encounter restrictions from certain payers in your area. This position statement may be helpful in responding to those limitations.

Can I continue to read slides in my office if I purchase the technical component from an outside lab?

Yes, but you should only bill for the work you do and the cost you incur. Again, state law and payer policies in your area may impose additional compliance requirements, like disclosure and anti-markup.

Can I bill for the dermatopathology service if I read my own slides but purchase the technical component?

Yes, assuming no state law prohibits this practice in your area. The new position statement cautions against markups in excess of administrative costs associated with outsourcing.

If I purchase all dermatopathology services, can I bill for those?

Yes, but the position statement expresses concern with circumstances where the dermatology practice marks up cost and bills for work performed by an outside lab under a purchased service arrangement for dermatopathology services in excess of administrative costs associated with this practice.