All three are laboratories operated by American Pathology Partners (AP2). Each is a premier laboratory and medical practice of physicians specializing in pathology in their respective geographies. Our physician and hospital clients send pathology to us because of our deep expertise, high level of diagnostic quality, rapid turnaround times, and professional and careful handling of patient specimens.
Most likely you recently visited a physician’s office, clinic, surgery center or hospital. During that visit a physician surgically removed tissue from your body (a biopsy) or collected cell samples via a brushing (e.g. a Pap), washing or some other collection method. Your doctor then sent the biopsy or cell specimen to an AP2 laboratory (UniPath, Palm Beach Pathology or Eastern Carolina Pathology) for evaluation. This is a separate billable event and we bill your insurance company for our testing services. Like any other medical bill, depending on your insurance benefits, the type of service (routine exam vs. diagnostic), and your deductible level, you may be responsible for none of the bill, all of the bill, or a portion of the bill.
Upon arrival in our laboratory, the specimens undergo multiple complex processing steps in order to be placed on glass slides by our professional staff. Each slide is examined by one of our board-certified pathologists and/or our certified cytotechnologists and a diagnosis is rendered. A report is generated and sent to your physician, who in turn is responsible for contacting you with the results.
Pathology is the study of disease. Pathologists are specially trained medical doctors who have completed medical residency (and often times further specialized training) in pathology. They dedicate most of their time to interpreting microscopic information from the body that might indicate the presence of diseases. Pathologists use microscopes to look at slides prepared from biopsies or other collections of cells, such as those that come from Pap tests. Many pathologists focus on general surgical pathology (examining specimens removed during major and minor surgeries) and some receive additional subspecialty training in a variety of areas, such as cytopathology, dermatopathology, hematopathology, etc. Pathologists also often own, oversee, maintain, and/or direct laboratories where tissues and cellular specimens are processed using technologically advanced equipment and highly trained laboratory personnel.
Pathologists are often called the “physician’s physician” by their colleagues in other medical specialties, a tribute to the importance of the pathologist in patient care. Your physician speaks with a pathologist regarding critical health information including diagnosis of disease, indications of disease prognosis, additional testing that may be conducted, and potential therapeutic interventions. Pathologists are your physician’s partners in patient care. This means that you have another doctor that you may never meet face-to-face. In short, pathologists often provide the information your physician needs to make a determination of how to care for you.
Pathology services are covered under most insurance plans. Your physician will provide us with your medical insurance information along with your specimen and we will bill your insurance directly for the pathology services performed. If your insurance company denies the claim or if any portion of it is unpaid by your insurance, then you may receive a bill from us for anything that your plan does not cover. For example, if you have a deductible that must be met or if the test that your physician orders is not covered by your particular plan, the services performed will be billed to you for payment. If you do not understand why you are receiving a bill from us, the first step you can take is to contact our billing department.
Typically Paps are covered in full by insurance plans as an integral part of routine medical exams. If you have had normal results from Pap tests in the past, they were probably fully paid by your insurance plan and you likely had no further responsibility. However, if the Pap diagnosis is abnormal (e.g. ASCUS, LSIL, HSIL or CIN, etc.) it can become termed as a “diagnostic” service and ceases to be a “routine” service. It is then treated by most insurance plans just like any other diagnostic test (a biopsy for example) and you may have to pay a portion of the bill depending on your specific benefits and the level of your deductible.
UniPath (the AP2 laboratory located in Colorado) participates in the electronic Health Information Exchange (HIE) through Colorado Regional Health Information Organziation (CORHIO) as a means to improve the quality of your healthcare experience. UniPath securely transmits your medical information to CORHIO, which helps your health care providers to collectively and effectively access your information and provide you with better overall care. CORHIO enables emergency medical personnel and other providers who are treating you to have immediate access to your medical data that may be critical for your care. Making your health information available to your health care providers through CORHIO can also help reduce your costs by eliminating unnecessary or unintended duplication of tests and procedures.
Only Colorado residents are eligible for participation in this program. For more information about CORHIO, click here. If you would like to opt-out of being included in CORHIO, please fill out and follow the instructions on this form. If you have previously opted-out of inclusion and would now like to be included, please fill out and follow the instructions on this form.
While studying ovarian and uterine cycles in vaginal specimens in 1923, George N. Papanicolaou, MD discovered that the cells of women with cervical cancer showed abnormal changes. In 1943, he and gynecologist Herbert F. Traut published Diagnosis of Uterine Cancer by the Vaginal Smear. Further research demonstrated that pre-cancerous changes could also be detected. This research and subsequent screening practices led to the most successful cancer-screening tool in history: the Pap test, named after Dr. Papanicolaou. Modern Pap tests are performed on liquid-based technologies, mainly ThinPrep® and SurePath™.
The Pap test has been the single most effective screening tool ever available to modern medicine in the fight against cancer. If caught early and treated properly, cervical cancer is curable. The American Cancer Society states that cervical cancer deaths have dropped by 74% since 1955 in the U.S., and the death rate from cervical cancer continues to decline at a rate of 4% per year. These favorable numbers are attributed to the use of the Pap test. Cervical cancer is, generally speaking, very slow to develop. Changes in the cells of the cervix can be detected by microscopically examining them after they are collected by your doctor and sent to a pathology laboratory. If abnormalities are found early, treatments are extremely effective.
HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted infection and the leading cause of cervical cancer. Depending on the strain of HPV, cervical cells can be damaged by the virus which can later lead to the development of cervical cancer. Keep in mind, testing positive for HPV does not mean that you are automatically developing cervical cancer, but you and your physician do need to know if the infection has caused DNA damage to your cervical cells.
If your Pap test result comes back abnormal or positive for HPV, your physician may order a cervical FISH (flourescence in situ hybridization) test from your Pap sample in order to understand if the HPV infection has caused damage to your cervical cells. With the results of this test, your physician will be better equipped to provide you the best care to prevent cervical cancer from developing.
Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening, or NIPS, is a blood test that expecting mothers can opt in for as early as 10 weeks gestation in order to assess their baby’s risk of having a chromosomal abnormality. NIPS closely looks at the mother’s blood which contains fragments of her baby’s DNA. From the baby’s DNA fragments, the screening technology can assess whether the baby has a risk of genetic disorders associated to abnormal chromosome counts or deletions. The most common genetic disorders that are screened for are trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) or trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome). Your physician may suggest for your baby to also be screened for less common or less severe conditions that can be detected through abnormal sex chromosome counts or microdeletions.
Genetic carrier screening analyzes your DNA to identify if there is a chance your children can inherit certain genetic disorders. If you are an expectant parent, or are planning a pregnancy, you may choose to find out if you or your partner is a carrier of the most common hereditary disorders. It is possible for a parent to be a “carrier” for a certain disorder, but not have any symptoms of the disorder. If you and your partner are tested and find that you are both carriers for the same disorder, the risk of your child inheriting it from you and having symptoms increases.
The most commonly tested inheritable genetic disorders are cystic fibrosis (CF), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and fragile X syndrome (FX). Other more rare disorders are available for screening as well, which you and your healthcare provider may decide to screen for.
Follow the links below for informational material on select diagnoses to help you gain a better understanding of your medical condition. This material is for informational purposes only. You should always consult with your doctor on your specific medical condition and treatment options.
The billing statement you received represents the fees for laboratory tests performed by an AP2 laboratory (UniPath, Palm Beach Pathology, or Eastern Carolina Pathology). We are your doctor’s pathology laboratory. We provided professional and/or technical services associated with the evaluation of a specimen, tissue, blood or bodily fluids taken from your body and submitted by your doctor to one of our laboratories.
If you have any questions or concerns with regards to the EOB (Explanation of Benefits) statement from your insurance plan or the billing statement from AP2 (UniPath, Palm Beach Pathology, or Eastern Carolina Pathology) please call us.
The best way to access your medical report is to request it from your doctor. However, if you would prefer to receive it directly from us, we would be happy to provide it to you. All you have to do is follow the instructions below.
If you have a billing related question or concern, please contact the National Billing Center at 1.855.307.5899. For any questions regarding testing services, please reach out to our Client Relations Department at the appropriate laboratory.
All laboratories in the American Pathology Partners family follow Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) guidelines. CLIA is the program under which Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulates medical laboratories. If you have reached out to us and still have an unresolved issue or concern, click here to review how you can report it to CMS. For more information, you can also visit this site or call 1.877.267.2323 (toll free) ext. 63531