2019

January 1, 2019 will bring a greatly anticipated change to our organization.  It is our pleasure to announce that our name will change to WestPac Labs, Inc. This change replaces the following company names, as they will no longer be used:

 

Central Coast Pathology Laboratory

Physician’s Automated Laboratory

West Pacific Medical Laboratory

 

This change will unify our California operations to provide the best quality care for the medical communities that we serve. It also reflects our ongoing efforts to maintain and improve upon our service levels to our clients and patients throughout California.

 

Please be assured that with these changes, a steady constant is our outstanding team of approximately 500 employees and the affiliated pathology groups that live and work in Kern County, The Central Coast, Santa Barbara, and Southern California. All are dedicated to continuing to provide excellent care to our clients, partners, friends and family in the areas we are fortunate to serve.

 

Under the unified WestPac Labs, Inc. brand, our infrastructure and patient access will extend from San Diego through Los Angeles, Bakersfield and San Luis Obispo to just north of San Francisco. Our new single website will allow these geographic areas to identify their local Patient Service Centers which will improve efficiencies for clients and patients. 

 

We look forward to continuing to serve our patients, clients, and partners for many years to come under our new brand of WestPac Labs, Inc.

If you have additional questions please see our name change FAQs

2018

The FDA Warns: BIOTIN May Interfere with Laboratory Testing

  • Patients on high dose
    supplements of biotin (minimum
    5-10 mg/day), such as hair/nail/
    skin supplements, should refrain
    from taking them in the 24
    hours prior to laboratory test.
  • Supplements may or may
    not prominently indicate they
    contain biotin.
  • Patients taking prescribed
    megadose regimens (>150 mg
    biotin, usually prescribed for
    multiple sclerosis) should refrain
    from taking the supplements
    for 2-3 days prior to laboratory
    testing, after consulting with
    their physician.

The level of biotin typically found in multivitamin tablets does not interfere with laboratory testing.

Affiliated Pathologists of the Central Coast (APCC) is a healthcare organization providing
Anatomic and Clinical Pathology services to other healthcare organizations of the California
Central Coast. APCC partners with Central Coast Pathology Laboratory and is happy to
introduce John Blaustein, M.D.
Dr. Blaustein will be providing Hematopathology services for APCC. In addition to Dr.
Blaustein, APCC consists of Dr. R.E. Rocha, Dr. J.B. Hannah, Dr. C.L. Douglas, Dr. B. Firetag,
Dr. B. Singer and Dr. Z. Nagymanyoki.
Dr. Blaustein is board-certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, with a subspecialty in Hematopathology. After
receiving his M.D. degree from the University of Texas, he completed his residency in Anatomic and Clinical
Pathology at the University of New Mexico. Subsequently, Dr. Blaustein completed a Hematopathology fellowship
at the University of Vermont.
Dr. Blaustein’s first position was as Assistant Professor of Pathology at the Wayne State School of Medicine
at Harper Hospital. Dr. Blaustein relocated to California where he worked as a Hematopathologist at Kaiser
Permanente’s main referral hospital in Los Angeles. Dr. Blaustein later accepted a position at Santa Barbara
Cottage Hospital where he was a staff Pathologist for over 27 years.
Dr. Blaustein has published a number of articles in peer reviewed journals and has co-authored a Hematology App
(Atlas and Glossary for Hematology).
Dr. Blaustein is available to clinicians for ongoing communications or to answer any questions. He can be reached
on his cell phone at 805.338.5463 for ongoing communication or to answer any questions.

WestPac Labs. is committed to promoting awareness and adherence to all federal laws and regulations.  In accordance with the Office of Inspector General's (OIG) recommendation, this notice will provide our physician clients valuable information.  The information contained within is intended to aid physician clients and the laboratory comply with the regulations and mitigate risks for all parties. 

 

PECOS - Medicare Ordering and Referring Information                                    

 

As of 2014, Medicare requires all physicians or other eligible non-physician practitioners (NPP) to enroll in or have a valid opt-out record with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) in order to order/refer items or services for Medicare beneficiaries.  Information on the requirement and how to enroll is available at: 

http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/MedicareProviderSupEnroll/index.html

 

Medical Necessity

 

Tests that are medically necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of a Medicare patient are covered and will be reimbursed.  Screening or Investigational Use Only tests are not generally covered by Medicare, with some exceptions.  An approved panel must only be ordered when every test in that panel is medically necessary.  If all components of the panel are not medically necessary, individual tests or a less inclusive panel containing only the medically necessary tests should be ordered.  The OIG takes the position that a physician who orders medically unnecessary tests for which Medicare reimbursement is claimed may be subject to civil penalties.  As a Medicare participating provider, Physician’s Automated Laboratory, Inc. has a responsibility to make good faith efforts to ensure that all tests requested are performed and billed in a manner consistent with all federal and state laws and regulations. 

 

Billing Information

 

Section 4317 of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 requires that the physician or other authorized ordering party submit diagnosis information on the laboratory order for submission of a Medicare claim.  The diagnosis information provided should accurately describe the patient’s condition on the date of service as documented in the patient’s medical record. The laboratory requires the following information to enable the billing department to bill Medicare, Medicaid or other commercial insurance: 

 

  • patients full name
  • patient’s complete address, including city state and zip code
  • patient’s date of birth and gender
  • patient’s insurance (a copy of the patient’s current insurance card is requested)
  • ordering physician’s full name
  • valid diagnosis code(s) for each test, and
  • valid ABN, when mandated by Medicare NCD/LCD policy.

 

 

2018 Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule

 

Outpatient clinical laboratory services are paid based on a fee schedule in accordance with Section 1833(h) of the Social Security Act.  Payment is the lesser of the amount billed, the local fee for geographic area, or a national limit.  Co-payments and deductibles do not apply to services paid under the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule.  Medi-Cal reimbursement will be equal to, or less than, Medicare reimbursement.

 

The 2018 Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule can be viewed at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/ClinicalLabFeeSched/Clinical-Laboratory-Fee-Schedule-Files-Items/18CLAB.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=2&DLSortDir=descending

 

American Medical Association (AMA) Organ and Disease Oriented Panels

 

AMA panels were developed for coding purposes only and should not be interpreted as clinical parameters. Each component in an AMA-defined panel must be considered medically necessary when ordering. 

 

Custom Profiles

 

WestPac Labs. does not encourage the use of custom profiles, however, in instance where clients insist on customization, the client is advised that custom profiles require a signed Physician Acknowledgement Form (PAF) upon inception with annual renewal thereafter.  Custom profiles will not be created without completion of this form nor will they remain active without annual renewal.  The PAF details CPT codes and the Medicare and Medi-Cal reimbursement paid for each component of the profile.  Please be advised that ordering custom profiles may result in the ordering of tests which are not covered, reasonable or necessary and the OIG takes the position that an individual who knowingly causes a false claim to be submitted may be subject to sanctions or remedies available under civil, criminal an administrative law.

 

Medical Laboratory  National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) and Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs).

 

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has established National Coverage Determinations (NCD) that place restrictions on certain tests for Medical Necessity or Utilization.  California Medicare carrier Noridian, has published Local Coverage Determinations (LCD) for certain tests.  These polices define the medical conditions for which these tests are covered or reimbursed by Medicare.  For these tests, the ordering provider is required to provide diagnostic information that supports the medical necessity for the test. 

 

LCDs may be viewed at: https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/indexes/lcd-state-index.aspx

 

NCDs may be viewed at: https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/indexes/lab-ncd-index.aspx

 

Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN)

 

Not all laboratory services are covered by Medicare. For statutorily excluded services, the laboratory may bill Medicare patients directly. For certain other laboratory tests, an Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN) is used to document that the patient has been made aware that Medicare may not pay for services and has agreed to pay the laboratory in the event payment is denied. A separate ABN must be used for each encounter.  ABN’s must be collected prior to services being rendered.  Client-collected ABN's must be attached to the requisition when samples are submitted to the laboratory.  The laboratory will be responsible for collecting the ABN from the patient only when there is a face to face interaction between the patient and the laboratory.  More information is available at:  https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-General-Information/BNI/ABN.html

Medicare Preventive Screening Laboratory Tests

 

Certain preventive screening laboratory tests are covered benefits for Medicare patients.

Benefit coverage is specific for each service, covered diagnosis codes, coverage requirements, and frequency limitations.  A full list of tests may be viewed at:  https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prevention/PrevntionGenInfo/medicare-preventive-services/MPS-QuickReferenceChart-1.html

 

Reflex testing

 

Reflex testing occurs when initial test results are positive or outside normal parameters and indicate that a second related test is medically appropriate for patient care.  There are two types of reflex testing protocols – required and optional reflex tests.

 

(a) Required Reflex Tests

Laboratory tests which, if positive, require additional separate follow-up testing in order to have clinical value.  Reflex tests required by state, regulatory or accreditation standards are also considered to be of this type.

(b) Optional Reflex Tests

Laboratory tests where the initial test results may have clinical value without the additional reflex testing.

 

Clinical Consultant/Medical Director

 

The Laboratory Medical Director is available to provide guidance as requested.

 

Performing Laboratory                    Director Name                   Director Contact Information___

Bakersfield Laboratory:                         James Hannah, MD                  (661) 325-0744      jhannah@westpaclab.com

Central Coast Laboratory:       Brandi Firetag, MD              (805) 541-6033      bfiretag@westpaclab.com

West Pacific Medical Laboratory:           Ronald Rocha, MD                  (562) 906-5227       rrocha@westpaclab.com

 

Supply Provision

 

The laboratory provides supplies that are used solely to collect, transport, process, or store specimens referred to our laboratory.  Supplies are filled according to utilization. 

 

Attachments

 

The pages that follow will provide you and your staff with additional resources.  Please take a moment to review and/or disseminate this information accordingly.  We value your business and appreciate the opportunity to server your laboratory needs in conjunction with these initiatives. 

 

  • AMA Defined Organ or Disease Oriented Panels
  • Reflex tests
  • ned Organ or Disease Oriented Panels

  •  
        

    Panel Name

    Components

    CPT Code

    Acute Hepatitis Panel

    Hepatitis A AB, IGM

    Hepatitis B SAB

    80074

     

    Hepatitis B Core AB, IGM

    Hepatitis C AB

     

    Basic Metabolic Panel

    Calcium

    Glucose

    80048

     

    Chloride

    Potassium

     

     

    CO2 Bicarbonate

    Sodium

     

     

    Creatinine

    Urea Nitrogen

     

    Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

    Albumin

    CO2 Bicarbonate

    80053

     

    Alkaline Phosphatase

    Creatinine

     

     

    ALT

    Glucose

     

     

    AST

    Potassium

     

     

    Bilirubin, Total

    Protein

     

     

    Calcium

    Sodium

     

     

    Chloride

    Urea Nitrogen

     

    Electrolyte Panel

    Chloride

    Potassium

    80051

     

    CO2 Bicarbonate

    Sodium

     

    Hepatic Function Panel

    Albumin

    Bilirubin, Total

    80076

     

    Alkaline Phosphatase

    Bilirubin, Direct

     

     

    ALT

    Protein

     

     

    AST

     

     

    Lipid Panel

    Cholesterol, Total

     

    80061

     

    Triglycerides

     

     

     

    Cholesterol, HDL

     

     

    Obstetric Panel

    Hepatitis B SAG

    ABO blood type

    80055

     

    Rubella AB

    RH Blood Type

     

     

    Syphilis

    CBC

     

     

    AB Screen RBC

     

     

    Renal Function Panel

    Albumin

    Glucose

    80069

     

    Calcium

    Phosphorus

     

     

    Chloride

    Potassium

     

     

    CO2 Bicarbonate

    Sodium

     

     

    Creatinine

    Urea Nitrogen

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Test

    Condition

    Reflexed Test

    Antibody Screen

    If Positive

    Antibody Identification

    Antibody Identification

    If antibody is causative of HDFN                                (Prenatal Patients only)

    Antibody Titer

    Urinalysis

    If patient <3 years old

    Reducing Substances

    Urine Chemistry

    If abnormal

    Urine Microscopy

    CBC

    Multiple Parameters

    Manual Differential and/or                                                         Pathologist Review

    Laboratory tests where the initial test results may have clinical value without the additional reflex testing.

     

    Clinical Consultant/Medical Director

     

    The Laboratory Medical Director is available to provide guidance as requested.

     

    Performing Laboratory                    Director Name                   Director Contact Information___

    Bakersfield Laboratory:                         James Hannah, MD                  (661) 325-0744      jhannah@pallab.org

    Central Coast Pathology Laboratory:       Michael V. Frost, MD              (805) 541-6033      mfrost@ccpathology.com

    West Pacific Medical Laboratory:           Ronald Rocha, MD                  (562) 906-5227       rrocha@ccpathology.com

     

    Supply Provision

     

    The laboratory provides supplies that are used solely to collect, transport, process, or store specimens referred to our laboratory.  Supplies are filled according to utilization. 

     

    Attachments

     

    The pages that follow will provide you and your staff with additional resources.  Please take a moment to review and/or disseminate this information accordingly.  We value your business and appreciate the opportunity to server your laboratory needs in conjunction with these initiatives. 

     

  • AMA Defined Organ or Disease Oriented Panels
  • Reflex tests