Laboratory Test Charges to Appear in Epic

Effective Tuesday, December 11, 2012, the charges associated with laboratory tests will appear in the order entry menu in Epic under a new column labelled "Charge Est." (charge estimate).  These charges include both technical and, if applicable, professional components for approximately 1,500 laboratory tests currently built in Epic.  Charges will only appear in the order entry mode.  There is currently no field in Epic to display test charge in order sets and preference lists, although that may change with future versions of Epic.

Laboratory test charge information will be routinely updated annually or if there is a major change involving a test (new test added, CPT code change, etc.).  Charge information will not be displayed for a small number of surgical pathology and cytopathology-related tests as there is wide variability in charges depending on nature of specimen (e.g., small biopsy versus large resection).  Also, note that the charge displayed does not indicate insurance reimbursement or what the ultimate patient financial liability may be.

Here are examples of three different scenarios for laboratory tests:

(1) A test with single numeric charge (no reflex components).

(2) Estimate of charge by using average charge.  This is used mainly for Microbiology tests such as cultures.  For these tests, there is wide variability in charges depending on complexity of results, but many cases are near the average.

(3) Range of charges.  This is used for tests with well-defined reflex components, including many molecular genetics tests.  The lower end of the charge range is the base charge.  The upper end is the maximum charge if all reflex testing is done.

Questions should be directed to Matthew Krasowski, MD, PhD, Director of Clinical Laboratories (384-9380,