Sec. 20-7a. Billing for clinical laboratory services. Cost of diagnostic tests. Financial disclosures to patients. Billing practices re anatomic pathology services. (a) Any practitioner of the healing arts who agrees with any clinical laboratory, either private or hospital, to make payments to such laboratory for individual tests or test series for patients shall disclose on the bills to patients or third party payors the name of such laboratory, the amount or amounts charged by such laboratory for individual tests or test series and the amount of his procurement or processing charge, if any, for each test or test series. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars.
(b) Each practitioner of the healing arts who recommends a test to aid in the diagnosis of a patient’s physical condition shall, to the extent the practitioner is reasonably able, inform the patient of the approximate range of costs of such test.
(c) Each practitioner of the healing arts who (1) has an ownership or investment interest in an entity that provides diagnostic or therapeutic services, or (2) receives compensation or remuneration for referral of patients to an entity that provides diagnostic or therapeutic services shall disclose such interest to any patient prior to referring such patient to such entity for diagnostic or therapeutic services and provide reasonable referral alternatives. Such information shall be verbally disclosed to each patient or shall be posted in a conspicuous place visible to patients in the practitioner’s office. The posted information shall list the therapeutic and diagnostic services in which the practitioner has an ownership or investment interest and therapeutic and diagnostic services from which the practitioner receives compensation or remuneration for referrals and state that alternate referrals will be made upon request. Therapeutic services include physical therapy, radiation therapy, intravenous therapy and rehabilitation services including physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech and language pathology, or any combination of such therapeutic services. This subsection shall not apply to in-office ancillary services. As used in this subsection, “ownership or investment interest” does not include ownership of investment securities that are purchased by the practitioner on terms available to the general public and are publicly traded; and “entity that provides diagnostic or therapeutic services” includes services provided by an entity that is within a hospital but is not owned by the hospital. Violation of this subsection constitutes conduct subject to disciplinary action under subdivision (6) of subsection (a) of section 19a-17.
(d) No person or entity, other than a physician licensed under chapter 370, a clinical laboratory, as defined in section 19a-30, or a referring clinical laboratory, shall directly or indirectly charge, bill or otherwise solicit payment for the provision of anatomic pathology services, unless such services were personally rendered by or under the direct supervision of such physician, clinical laboratory or referring laboratory in accordance with section 353 of the Public Health Service Act, (42 USC 263a). A clinical laboratory or referring laboratory may only solicit payment for anatomic pathology services from the patient, a hospital, the responsible insurer of a third party payor, or a governmental agency or such agency’s public or private agent that is acting on behalf of the recipient of such services. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a clinical laboratory from billing a referring clinical laboratory when specimens are transferred between such laboratories for histologic or cytologic processing or consultation. No patient or other third party payor, as described in this subsection, shall be required to reimburse any provider for charges or claims submitted in violation of this section. For purposes of this subsection, (1) “referring clinical laboratory” means a clinical laboratory that refers a patient specimen for consultation or anatomic pathology services, excluding the laboratory of a physician’s office or group practice that takes a patient specimen and does not perform the professional diagnostic component of the anatomic pathology services involved, and (2) “anatomic pathology services” means the gross and microscopic examination and histologic or cytologic processing of human specimens, including histopathology or surgical pathology, cytopathology, hematology, subcellular pathology or molecular pathology or blood banking service performed by a pathologist.
(P.A. 73-159; P.A. 91-168; P.A. 92-24; P.A. 05-272, S. 18; P.A. 06-196, S. 246; P.A. 09-232, S. 72; P.A. 10-18, S. 19.)
History: P.A. 91-168 added a new Subsec. (b) to require practitioners to inform patients regarding the costs of diagnostic tests ordered, and added a new Subsec. (c) to require practitioners to make disclosures of financial interests in diagnostic imaging equipment to patients; P.A. 92-24 amended Subsec. (c) to change disclosure requirements from diagnostic imaging equipment to diagnostic or therapeutic services or compensation or remuneration for referrals of such services, to explain verbal and posted disclosure requirements, to add definition of entity which provides diagnostic or therapeutic services, and to make violation of Subsec. subject to disciplinary action; P.A. 05-272 amended Subsec. (c) by making technical changes and replacing “speech pathology” with “speech and language pathology”; P.A. 06-196 made technical changes in Subsec. (c), effective June 7, 2006; P.A. 09-232 added Subsec. (d) re billing practices for anatomic pathology services, effective July 1, 2009; P.A. 10-18 made a technical change in Subsec. (d).