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Laboratory Medicine Updates - September 2, 2004


University of Virginia Health System

Medical Laboratories

“Quality You Expect, Service You Deserve”



September 2, 2004


Change in Acceptable Specimen Type for Total T3 Testing


We have been notified by the vendor of our Vacutainer blood collection tubes of a potential interference in Total T3 testing when specimens are collected in SST (Gold) tubes.  This interference could potentially lead to a false elevation in Total T3 by as much as 30%.  To address this issue, the Chemistry Division of Medical Laboratories is changing the specimen requirements to a red top tube effective immediately.  Effective Monday, September 13, 2004, we will no longer accept gold top tubes for this test.



Site Identification for Chlamydia/GC Testing


A reminder that the specimen collection site must be indicated on the laboratory test request form when submitting samples for Chlamydia/GC testing.  The assay is standardized for gynecological samples only.



Laboratory Relocation Update


Demolition of the existing building behind the SunTrust Bank and Papa John’s on West Main Street has now been completed, following a visit from Dominion Power to ensure no interruption of service to surrounding businesses.  Footings will be poured in the next few weeks to allow construction to begin of the new two-story building that will house the relocated Core, Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics Laboratories.


Discussions are underway to ensure a smooth transition of laboratory testing to the new building in early 2005.  Matters being addressed include specimen transportation, staff parking and security, telecommunication/IS requirements, and environmental and safety concerns.


For additional information or questions regarding the upcoming relocation please contact Cavell Kopetzky in Medical Laboratories Administration at 434-243-2649 (email: cak3w@virginia.edu ).





Medicare Expands ICD-9 Codes for Screening Pap Tests


Program Memorandum AB-03-054 expanded the list of covered ICD-9 codes for Medicare effective October 1, 2003. As of that date, the following ICD-9 codes are covered by Medicare patients for screening Pap tests. The program memorandum essentially added two ICD-9 codes (V76.47 and V76.49) based on the specimen source to the list of covered codes.

V15.89  Screening high-risk patients (other personal history presenting hazards to health)

V76.2   Special screening for malignant neoplasms of the CERVIX

V76.47 Special screening for malignant neoplasms of the VAGINA

V76.49 Special screening for malignant neoplasms of the, OTHER SITES


Program memorandum AB-03-054 may be found on the CMS website at www.cms.hhs.gov/manual/pm_trans/AB03054.pdf



Laboratory Request Forms for UVA Health System Clinics


Medical Laboratories outpatient test request forms for all UVA Health System Clinics are now available through the UVA Health System On-Line Form Ordering website (http://www.virginia.edu/uvaprint/HSC/hs_forms.pl). Ordering instructions are provided on the website.


It is recommended that out-dated forms be discarded as they contain incorrect information.


Please note that this mechanism for ordering forms is available to UVA Health System Clinics only.  Other users of Medical Laboratories’ services should contact Client Services (434-924-5227) for test request forms.