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August 2016

Painstaking process of drug monitoring

August 2016—As optimists like to point out (in their annoying way), showing up is half the battle. But it’s still only half, as other, equally clear-eyed folks might point out. That leaves plenty to do. And in drug testing for chronic pain management, the work facing laboratories may seem like even more than 50 percent.

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From the President’s Desk: Let’s close the knowledge gap, 8/16

August 2016—Most of us have heard the laboratory described as a black box where specimens are exchanged for information and diagnoses. This tells me that we work beside some highly skilled people who don’t know what we do and that the knowledge gap makes them uncomfortable enough to joke about it. This incomplete understanding of what takes place within the laboratory has meaningful consequences in multiple contexts.

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Add-ons, consults spared cuts in proposed fee schedule

August 2016—The proposed Medicare physician fee schedule for 2017 features a slight dip in overall revenue for pathology groups and independent laboratories, but payment for flow cytometry and the technical components of prostate biopsy and surgical pathology work could fall by double-digit percentages if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stands pat with its final rule later this year.

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ABP seeks volunteers to help shape next-generation MOC

August 2016—The American Board of Pathology has been selected to participate in the American Board of Medical Specialties’ Maintenance of Certification Assessment Initiative pilot. Currently, MOC Part III assesses a diplomate’s knowledge, judgment, and skills with a secure examination. The aim of the new initiative is to develop and test a new model for assessment that will be formative and summative.

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Cytopathology in Focus: The evolving management of LSIL in Pap tests

August 2016—The Bethesda System for Reporting Cervical/Vaginal Cytologic Diagnoses was developed to establish standardized terminology among pathologists for communicating to clinicians the findings of a Pap test.1 The Bethesda System has also facilitated the examination of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of cervical disease, with a focus on low-grade and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL and HSIL, respectively) and their relationships to human papillomavirus infection and progression to invasive cervical carcinoma.

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Cytopathology in Focus—Endoscopic ultrasound-guided FNA and core biopsy: Are we progressing to a best practice?

August 2016—Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a safe and effective procedure for visualizing and screening for lesions within and in the vicinity of the upper gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas and peri-pancreatic lymph nodes, and soft tissues. In addition to the detection and imaging of these lesions, endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) allows for concomitant sampling of visualized lesions for tissue diagnosis.

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