Frequently Asked Questions

Results
  • How can I get a status of my patient’s test?
  • Providers canget patient status by calling us at 800-862-7284. Please be sure to have your provider numberand patient information.
  • Do you have any tools that can help me explain test results to my patients?
  •  
    • Test Catalog
      Our test catalog can help with most questions related to the tests we perform.
    • Lab Manager/Director
      You can call us at 800-862-7284 to be connected with a lab manager or director who can help explain the specifics of a given test.
    • Lab Tests Online
      A great web resource is Lab Tests Online which can help answer most patient concerns or questions.
  • What if my patient’s test results seem inconsistent with the patient’s clinical presentation?
  • If you see inconsistencies or have concerns with your patient’s clinical presentation, please call us at 800-862-7284. We will connect you to a lab manager or director who can address your concern.
  • Can I get test results electronically?
  • Yes. MLabs clients can get results through MLabsCONNECT. To get started with MLabsCONNECT, please call 800-862-7284 or reach out to your Account Liaison.
  • How will I know if my patient’s result is ready?
  • All results automatically report out via fax unless you have indicated that you prefer to be contacted by phone with results. If you are signed up with MLabsCONNECT, you can also receive notifications via email.
  • My patient’s test is urgent. Can I get the results quicker?
  • If your patients test is urgent, you can indicate this on the requisition form, or call Client Services at 800-862-7284 to change the status on the test.
Billing
  • To where do I send payments?
  • Make checks payable to:
    Michigan Medicine
    Attention: Pathology Billing
    Department of Pathology & Clinical Laboratories
    2800 Plymouth Road, Building 35
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109
  • When and how will I receive invoices?
  • Invoices are generated monthly. Hospital and Professional charges are billed on separate invoices. We require an email address for your Accounts Payable person or department in order to send invoices via our secure messaging portal. There is also an option to send monthly invoices via Outlook as “secure” email, via U.S.Mail or via fax.
  • Where can I find the W9?
  • The W9 can be downloaded here.
  • What is MLabs’ taxpayer ID number?
  • 386006309
  • What if I see an error or need an adjustment on my statement?
  • Please call MLabs Customer Service at 800-862-7284. Be prepared to provide your client invoice number in order to discuss your concern.
  • Can MLabs bill patients or third parties?
  • Michigan Medicine will attempt to bill patients or their insurance carriers when patient and insurance information is provided by the client.
  • Will my patient receive a bill?
  • Patients will receive a bill from Michigan Medicine if we are not provided active insurance information, if the insurance carrier does not cover services or if the policy indicates a deductible or coinsurance responsibility. There are situations where payment plans and financial assistance may be available to patients. Patients can call 855-855-0863 Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm EST to discuss their statement.
    Clients have the option to be billed for services if they do not wish their patient to receive a bill. Clients can contact MLabs directly at 800-862-7284 to initiate this request.
  • What if you don’t accept the patient’s insurance?
  • If we cannot successfully bill the patient’s insurance carrier, we will bill the patient or the client. We will contact the client first to ask their preference.
  • Do you accept Medicaid?
  • We accept and can bill most Michigan Medicaid plans – see our insurance list. We are not able to bill out-of-state Medicaid plans since they are outside of our network.
  • How do you bill for Medicare?
  • When billing Medicare we follow CMS law. MLabs cannot bill Medicare for technical charges if the order date is less than 14 days after the patient was classified as a hospital inpatient or outpatient or was in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) in a Medicare-paid bed. Technical charges meeting the above criteria will be billed to the client. The one exception is molecular pathology testing (CPT range 81105-81479) collected from a hospital outpatient. MLabs will bill Medicare directly for these services.

    If the specimen as stated above was obtained in a private physician’s office (not billed under a facility tax ID), MLabs can bill Medicare directly for both the technical and professional services, unless the patient was in SNF Medicare-paid bed on the date of service.

    Please note: if a client/provider has reason to believe that payment may be denied by Medicare for the testing ordered, we ask that they provide the patient with a form called an Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) informing them of the cost of testing. Michigan Medicine will bill a client if a claim is denied by Medicare and an ABN was not provided.

Prior Authorization
  • What is a prior authorization?
  • A prior authorization requirement, also known as a pre-authorization or pre-certification, is a clause in a health insurance policy that requires a patient to get permission from their health insurance company before they receive certain health care services, including some specialized laboratory testing.
  • What if I don’t submit a prior authorization?
  • MLabs seeks to partner with our clients and our patients to facilitate all necessary prior authorizations. While many insurers require that the physician ordering the test apply for the prior authorization, MLabs has negotiated special exceptions that, in most instances, allow MLabs to submit the prior authorization request on behalf of you and your patient. This makes it possible for testing to be authorized, performed and reimbursed without significant delays or co-payments required from patients.
  • How do I know which tests require a prior authorization?
  • Specialized laboratory testing that requires prior authorization can usually be found on the health plan’s website or by contacting the health plan directly via phone. Many genomic tests and esoteric tests now require prior authorization for outpatient services.
  • What do I need to send with a molecular test to ensure it will be authorized?
  • Applying for a prior authorization requires that the insurance company is provided sufficient information to support the clinical need for the test. MLabs has developed a Molecular Diagnostic Clinical History form to facilitate collecting the relevant information, which we then convey to the insurance company on behalf of the patient and the physician. In some instances, this form does not cover all of the information that an insurance company requires. For this reason, we also request that you attach a copy of the patient’s most relevant office note or pathology report. It is MLabs hope that with this information, the prior authorization can be submitted. Occasionally, MLabs personnel may contact a physician’s office for additional information required by an insurance carrier.
  • Who is responsible for obtaining a prior authorization?
  • The physician that is ordering the testing is responsible for obtaining prior authorization for the specialized laboratory test. If the physician’s office does not obtain the necessary prior authorization before the testing, the patient will be responsible for the cost of specialized laboratory testing, which can range from just under one hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, based on the test ordered.
  • As a patient, can I obtain a prior authorization myself?
  • Yes. In most cases, you can contact your health insurance provider and complete the prior authorization process. This could include submitting the information via the insurance provider’s website, completing or faxing the insurance provider’s specific form, or providing the information over the phone.
Tests
  • What if I need to cancel a test?
  • If a test needs to be cancelled, please call MLabs Client Services at 800-862-7284.
  • What if I have an add-on test for my patient?
  • If you have an add-on test, please call MLabs Client Services at 800-862-7284. They will help you fill out the necessary form to add additional test(s). Please note that add-on tests may not always be available.
  • What if I am unsure which test to order for my patient?
  • If you are not sure which test to order for your patient, we can help. We can connect you with lab directors and faculty who can help you select the appropriate test(s).
  • How long does MLabs keep tissue samples or blood work for future testing?
  • BLOOD BANK
    Specimens are saved for minimum of seven days. Type and Screen are saved for 56 days.

    CHEMISTRY/TOXICOLOGY/IMMUNOLOGY/LIGAND
    Specimens for tests performed on the automated line are held for five days. Specimens not run on the automated line are held for four days. Specimens for certain dare saved for two to three weeks.

    COAGULATION
    PT, PTT and Fibrinogen are not saved. Special coagulation assays such as Protein S Ag Free are saved for three weeks.

    CYTOPATHOLOGY
    Normal Pap smear slides are saved for five years; abnormal slides are saved indefinitely.

    CYTOGENETICS
    Original specimens are saved for two and a half weeks; specimens grown and fixed for analysis are saved for one month after the report is verified.

    ELECTRON MICROSCOPY
    Specimens are saved for one year.

    FLOW CYTOMETRY
    Specimens are saved for two days.

    HEMATOLOGY
    Urine samples are not saved. Blood and fluids are saved for 24 hours. Peripheral smears are saved for two weeks. Call the Laboratory to confirm that the blood has been disposed of after 24 hours. Hematology disposes of blood samples when the blood analyzer is full and can hold no more. Specimens being run over a weekend may still be there.

    IMMUNOHISTOCHEMISTRY
    Frozen tissue specimens are saved three months.

    MICROBIOLOGY/VIROLOGY
    Serum and sterile body fluids are saved seven days. Non-sterile specimens are saved four days.

    MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS
    Original specimens (blood, bone marrow) are saved until the case is signed out. Tissue remaining after DNA or RNA extraction is saved indefinitely. Any DNA or RNA remaining after analysis is saved indefinitely

    NEUROPATHOLOGY
    Frozen muscle and paraffin are saved indefinitely.

Consultations
  • What do I need to do to request a consultation?
  • MLabs provides detailed information for classifying, packaging, and shipping medical specimens for testing. These pages are updated as regulations, methods, and packaging requirements change over time. For questions or additional details regarding collection, transport, and testing procedures, please contact Customer Service at 800-862-7284.
  • Can I request a particular faculty member for my consultation?
  • Yes. Every attempt is made to fulfill your request for a specific faculty expert. If that faculty member is not available, we may redirect your request to another faculty member.   
  • What is the professional fee associated with a consultation?
  • The routine professional fee associated with a consultation is $200.00 to $250.00.
  • Are there any other charges associated with a consultation?
  • Not routinely, but on occasion additional studies are needed to render a diagnosis.
  • What is the turnaround time (TAT) for a consultation?
  • Most diagnoses are rendered within 24-48 hours of receipt. Frequently, consultations are accompanied by a phone call to the referring pathologist at the time of report sign-out, followed by a fax report. We will call you if additional studies are needed that may delay the final diagnosis.
  • Why should I send a consultation to MLabs?
  • MLabs is dedicated to providing world class consultative services by nationally recognized and accessible faculty. Our distinguished faculty members comprise one of the largest and strongest groups of diagnostic pathologists in the world. Our goal is to help you meet the demands of your practice for rapid and accurate pathology results by delivering the expertise of our faculty in a way that is personal, collegial and supportive.
  • What does a consultation report look like?
  • Sample consultation reports can be viewed on our consultation page.
Online Portal - MLabsCONNECT
  • What is MLabsCONNECT?
  • MLabsCONNECT is an online portal that provides web-based access to ordering and reporting. For more information, you can download our MLabCONNECT Brochure.
  • What are the benefits of signing up for MLabsCONNECT?
  • This free web-based application can be accessed anywhere, 24/7, allowing clients to track tests, print batch reports and mange or build complex reports at a time that is convenient for them. MLabsCONNECT eliminates transcription errors and is completely confidential, safe and secure (HIPAA compliant).
  • How do I set up an MLabsCONNECT account?
  • Please call Client Services at 800-862-7284 or reach out to your Account Liaison to get started.
  • How long does it take to set up an account?
  • It normally takes two to three weeks for implementation, testing and training before an MLabsCONNECT account goes live. Please see our MLabsCONNECT Brochure for full details.
  • Do I have to be an MLabs client to get set up with MLabsCONNECT?
  • Yes, only clients are eligible to use MLabsCONNECT.
  • What kind of notifications can I get with MLabsCONNECT?
  • Notifications can be sent directly to an individual email or distribution group email. Notifications or alerts, such as abnormal results, are color coded and flagged.
  • What are the system requirements for MLabsCONNECT?
  • The requirements include: Print Control (MeadCoScriptX); Microsoft Windows 7 or later; Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 or later; MLabsCONNECT must be designated a “trusted site” and pop-up blockers must be disabled.
  • Does MLabsCONNECT cost anything?
  • MLabs provides the portal access for free. The client is responsible to any cost associated with system requirements or internet-enabled computers to access MLabsCONNECT.
Ordering Supplies
  • How can I order supplies?
  • Supplies can be ordered by calling Client Services at 800-862-7284, or filling out a supply requisition request and faxing it to734-936-0755.
  • Does it cost anything to order supplies?
  • All supplies are free to clients.
  • What kind of supplies can I order?
  • Supplies include items such as tubes and needles, urine and stool collection containers, swab and other testing kits, requisitions and forms, specimen bags and labels.
  • What if I only need requisitions?
  • Requisition forms can be ordered through our supply requisition or by calling Client Services at 800-862-7284.
Specimen and Shipping
  • Where can I send a specimen?
  • All Specimens or Evaluations can be sent by express mail or courier service to:
    Michigan Medicine Laboratories (MLabs)
    N-LNC Specimen Processing
    2800 Plymouth Rd., Bldg. 35
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800
  • Do you have specimen kits?
  • We have several specimen kits, including kits for:
    Molecular
    Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC)
    Tuberculous Test
    Bone Marrow
    Slide and Box
    BRCA
    PCA3/ MiSP
    Nerve Biopsy
    Renal Biopsy
    Muscle Biopsy
  • What information is required to submit a specimen?
  • All specimens, including slides, are labeled with:

    • Patient’s first and last name

    and a second identifier, including but not limited to:
    • The patient’s medical record number
    • The patient’s date of birth
    • The patient’s social security number
    • An accession number
    • A requisition number
    • A specimen barcode label

    All specimens should be accompanied by a completed MLabs requisition form found on the All Documents page. Certain testing must also be accompanied by additional patient information forms.

  • What are acceptable samples?
  • Please refer to the handbook or you can call Client Services at 800-862-7284.
  • What if the sample is inconclusive or inadequate?
  • MLabs will call you before canceling the test order.
  • How do I set up a courier service?
  • MLabs has a courier service that provides regular pick-up and delivery for established clients within our geographic service area. Schedules are arranged in accordance with client needs and the limitations of distance and time. For non-established clients, special courier arrangements can be made by calling Client Services at 800-862-7284.
  • In what type of transport container should I send my specimen?
  • Please refer to the handbook or call Client Services at 800-862-7284.
  • How do I properly label a specimen?
  • MLabs policy requires that ALL specimens, including slides, are labeled with both the patient’s first and last name and a second identifier. Second identifiers include, but are not limited to: date of birth, social security number, medical record number, accession number, requisition number, or specimen barcode label. 
About MLabs
  • How much testing does MLabs do?
  • MLabs processes 6.8 million tests annually. 
  • Why should I send my testing to MLabs?
  • MLabs is a full-service reference laboratory, with more than 30 years of experience providing state-of-the-science tools and expertise to help clinicians and patients choose the right clinical path, including the next-generation testing modalities and consultative support needed to meet the challenges of personalized, precision medicine.

    Our hybrid model combines the scientific rigor and infrastructure investment of a leading academic research institution with the efficiency, flexibility and responsiveness of a private reference lab.

    Visit our About Us page to learn more.

  • How is MLabs affiliated with Michigan Medicine and the Department of Pathology?
  • MLabs is the outward-facing or commercial laboratory division of the Michigan Medicine Department of Pathology allowing providers outside of Michigan Medicine to utilize our advanced diagnostic testing and the expertise of our faculty. All employees of MLabs are employees of the Department of Pathology, Michigan Medicine. All testing and consultations sent to MLabs are completed through the Department of Pathology.
  • What is your NPI number?
  • University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers National Provider Identifier (NPI) number is 1003878539
    (this number is used for Facility or MLabs Clinical Laboratory Services)

    The University of Michigan Medical School NPI is 1508890468
    (this number is used for Professional or MLabs Pathology Associates Services)

  • Where can I submit an RFP?
  • To get started, you can visit our Becoming a Client page and fill out our form to be contacted.
Research and Partnerships
  • Who can I contact about possible partnerships?
  • Please contact Kelly Labarge (MT, ASCP) at kellyIs@med.umich.edu