Digital Pathology Association asks CMS to allow pathologists to work remotely

March 26, 2020

The Digital Pathology Association (DPA) has asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow pathologists to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the association.

CMS gained some flexibility to temporarily relax regulatory requirements after the president declared a national emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic on March 13.

The DPA said it asked CMS to waive requirements that pathologists render primary diagnoses on-site, according to a letter from Michael Rivers, president of the DPA. “Pathologists have the resources to fully analyze stained tissue slides or whole slide images from remote offices or homes using conventional microscopy or digital technology, just as they do in a hospital laboratory setting,” Rivers wrote.

The association also noted that specimen processing and diagnostic sample preparation, image and data generation, as well as billing and administrative activity would continue to occur at a CLIA-certified lab, which would continue to have clinical and administrative oversight of the work performed remotely.

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