The Joint Commission no longer requires credentialing and privileging of independent pathologists — 4 things to know

The Joint Commission no longer requires hospitals, critical access hospitals, and ambulatory care organizations to credential and privilege contracted pathologists performing diagnostic services through a reference laboratory.

Here is what you need to know:

1. A reference laboratory is owned and operated by an organization other than a hospital and which an ASC or other healthcare organization contracts for testing.

2. Credentialing and privileging is no longer required when the contracted pathologist from a reference laboratory is performing tests or providing services offsite. For instance, when an ASC sends a specimen to a reference laboratory for interpretation by an independent pathologist, the pathologist providing the interpretation does not need to be credentialed and privileged by the ASC.

3. Pathologists in the U.S. are required to comply with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments regulations. Joint Commission-accredited organizations that use independent pathologist services can presume that CLIA-compliant pathologists and laboratories are competent to provide their services.

4. Credentialing and privileging would be required anytime that the pathologist provides his or her professional service, including consultation in the same laboratory or organization where the specimen was collected or prepared.

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