Date of Award

7-18-2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MHA Healthcare Administration

Department

Health and Medical Sciences

Keywords

Pediatrician, Physician's Office Laboratory, Healthcare services, In-office laboratory services

Abstract

The continued viability of the Physician's Office Laboratory (POL) has been questioned because of barriers imposed by managed care organizations, oversight by regulatory agencies and competition for professionally trained laboratory staff. Pediatricians view the POL as an important adjunct to quality healthcare services for children and do not consider the POL as a "profit center", whose priority is generation of revenues for the The practice. parents of pediatric patients consider an on-site laboratory a convenience and valuable service. Through an analysis of patients' satisfaction, physicians' perceptions of enhancement to quality care, managed care reimbursement data and costs associated with maintenance of a POL, this study justifies the continuance of in-office laboratory services by pediatricians. In addition, issues regarding POL regulation, .. waived" testing and professionally trained laboratory staffing, are addressed. The physician office laboratory (POL) has been an integral part of physicians' practices for decades. ln general, testing consisted of a few basic manual tests, which were run by the physicians or a physician-trained aide or nurse. The POL was considered an enhancement to the physician's practice, which was reimbursed by non-discounted fee­ for-service indemnity insurance plans. Clinical testing by physician in the POL was a profitable adjunct to a physician's practice. However, as the result of increasing regulations and oversight by the federal government, limitations posed by managed care and increasing difficulty accessing trained laboratory personnel, many have questioned continued viability of the POL.

 
 

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