FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Naples Pathology Associates (NPA)?
We are recognized by the medical community as the leading independent pathology laboratory in the Naples area. Because of our expertise, your doctor chose to send your specimen to us to analyze. Our pathologists are board-certified in their specialties and subspecialties, and highly trained in many other areas of pathology.
Why was my specimen sent to a pathologist?
When your doctor sees a suspicious lump or lesion on your body, he takes a sample (biopsy) and sends it to a pathologist to examine under a microscope. The pathologist makes a diagnosis by examining the cells and their patterns of growth. He/she may use special stains and other tests to determine if there is cancer or some other abnormality present. If it is cancer, the pathologist identifies the type of cancer so that your doctor will know how to treat it.
Why did I receive a bill from Naples Pathology Associates?
The bill that you received from NPA is for services performed in order to examine your specimen. The specimen was obtained when you were at your doctorâ€™s office, or when you were a patient at the hospital or a day surgery center. Pathology charges are separate from your doctor visit or hospital/surgery center stay. NPA submitted the charges to the primary and secondary insurance providers that accompanied your specimen. NPA accepts Medicare and Medicaid and most private insurances.
Why doesn’t my insurance cover the cost(s) for this service?
Without specific information about your insurance plan, some common reasons that insurance may not have covered the charges are listed below:
- The procedure may have been applied to your deductible (the amount a patient pays before insurance starts coverage).
- You may have a co-payment for this procedure.
- Your insurance information was not provided to us, or was incorrect.
- The procedure may not be a covered service according to your policy guidelines.
If you have questions or concerns about your bill, please call our billing office customer service at 866-512-6639, Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm EST.
What is a pathologist?
A pathologist is a medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.) who is trained in the diagnosis of disease by microscopic and laboratory analysis. After four years of medical school, a pathologist undergoes at least four additional years of residency training in anatomic and clinical pathology. If a pathologist chooses to specialize in a specific area of pathology, such as dermatopathology (skin) or hematopathology (blood and lymph node disorders) he undergoes an additional year of fellowship training for each subspecialty.
Following residency, pathologists are eligible to take the rigorous multi-day American Board of Pathology board certification examination to demonstrate their competency in anatomic and clinical pathology. Those who complete subspecialty fellowships become eligible to take the board examinations in those subspecialties to confirm their additional expertise in those areas. Pathologists who complete these examinations successfully become certified by the American Board of Pathology. Periodic re-certification of pathologists is now required to demonstrate continued competence and expertise.
What is cytology/cytopathology?
Cytopathology is the examination of individual cells to look for disease or abnormality. Examples of a cytology specimen would be a Pap test (gyn cytology) or a fine needle aspirate of a thyroid nodule (non-gyn cytology). The cells are examined under a microscope to look for distinguishing abnormal characteristics.
I would like a second opinion on my NPA diagnosis. How do I request one?
There are two ways to request a second opinion:
- The simplest is to have your doctor request a second opinion. Tell your doctor that you would like a second opinion on your diagnosis and he can request it for you. In some cases you may be required to sign a Medical Release Authorization before the slides can be sent out.
- Call NPA directly to request a second opinion. You will be required to sign a Medical Release Authorization and provide identification before we can honor your request. As a courtesy, your slides will be shipped via UPS Ground service at no charge to you. If you would like faster shipping, please provide NPA with a credit card number or UPS/FedEx account number to cover UPS/FedEx’s additional charges for faster shipping.
Note: Please be aware that the patient / patient’s insurance is responsible for any charges incurred for the second opinion.
Why do I have to sign a Medical Release Authorization and provide photo identification?
Under certain circumstances, NPA may require a patient to sign a Medical Materials Release Authorization and provide proof of identity before relaying protected health information or specimens. This is required by government HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations to ensure that the person requesting the information or slides is truly the patient or patient representative in order to protect patient privacy.
I am going to see another doctor about my condition, or am going for treatment at an out-of-town facility, and they have requested that I bring my slides with me.
Many times the requesting office or facility can send a written request to NPA (fax: 239-263-3693) so that we can send the slides directly to them. This is the most convenient method for patients. Otherwise, NPA would be happy to prepare your slides for you to hand-carry to your appointment. Please call ahead and allow us at least 2 business days to collect and package them. Under certain circumstances, it may take longer than two days to prepare them (for example, if we have to retrieve the slides from another facility). When you come to collect the slides, you will be asked to sign a Medical Release Authorization and provide photo identification.
How do I request a copy of my pathology report directly from NPA?
The simplest way for you to get a copy of your pathology report is to ask your physician to send one to you. But if you would like NPA to send you a copy of your pathology report, please fill out a Medical Release Authorization and provide a legible copy of your driver’s license or other photo identification. A copy of your report will be sent by fax or US mail within 30 days of receipt of the request.
I received a copy of my pathology report but I don’t understand what it says.
Our pathology reports are very carefully worded using terminology that provides your physician with the information he or she needs in order to treat your condition. If you have questions about what the pathology report is saying, ask your physician to explain. He or she knows you best and can explain how your results affect your treatment.