As I begin my role as your next Florida Society of Pathologists President, I am reflective of the past year and the value of my membership and involvement in the FSP, of why it is so vital to be a member of my state pathology society. I am reminded how strong our collective voice can be through advocacy and how it can impact change.
As you may remember, in the summer of 2020, the FSP became aware of a significant change to the Practitioner Laboratory Fee Schedule, published by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), which administers the Florida Medicaid program. The agency was proposing to cut the professional component on nearly 1,000+ clinical laboratory tests. Upon discovery, the FSP leadership leapt into action to petition AHCA to reinstate the professional component reimbursement on behalf of the society’s members and all Florida pathologists.
I am thankful for the tireless efforts of our FSP leadership under the direction of FSP President, Morton Levitt, MD and Legislative Chair, Brett Cantrell, MD along with our legal counsel Steve Weinstein, our lobbyist Amy Young and our billing expert David Smith, as they worked together to rollback the proposed changes. The FSP, with the support of partner organizations including CAP, FMA and ASCP, worked countless hours for the betterment of our members.
The fiscal impact was monumental. The Florida Medicaid clinical laboratory business is a $400MM business and it is estimated that through FSP’s successful efforts, Florida pathologists saved nearly $15MM. Of significance, the successful efforts of the FSP helped the continued lawsuits that preserve the reimbursement of the professional component of clinical pathology including the United Health Care Lawsuit securing past and future PC-CP payments.
We must all be aware that this is an ongoing fight. The Medicaid professional fee schedule for clinical pathology has been, and will continue to be, an eternal struggle for pathologists and we must remain vigilant. We must continue to support the FSP by keeping our membership active, by financially supporting the FSP’s legal and lobbying efforts and we must communicate these types of issues as they arise to the FSP leadership so that we can continue to work together on your behalf.
Qihui “Jim” Zhai, MD, FCAP
FSP President, 2021-2023
Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Director FISH Laboratory
Mayo Clinic Florida
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