CMS to Change Laboratory Requisition Signature Requirement

on Friday, 08 April 2011. All News Items

CMS announced last week that they will change the regulation that requires laboratory requisitions to be signed. Prior to the 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule, laboratory requisitions were not required to be signed. CMS defines a requisition as the actual paperwork (e.g. a form) that is presented to a laboratory to identify the test(s) requested. The 2011 MPFS final rule finalized the policy to require a physician’s or qualified non-physician practitioner’s (NPP) signature on requisitions for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests paid under the clinical laboratory fee schedule effective Saturday, January 1, 2011. Since then, CMS has received numerous comments from the provider community concerning the difficulty of complying with this policy. Therefore, CMS has decided to change the policy.

Note that CMS still requires there be a signed order for all diagnostic services, including laboratory tests. A signed requisition fulfills the requirement for a signed order. Other ways to fulfill this requirement include a signed order; an order signed electronically by the ordering practitioner; or signed documentation of the physician’s or NPP’s intent to request the laboratory tests, such as a signed clinic note or progress note.

CMS’s announcement can be viewed on the Cahaba website at:

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