Laboratory medicine is a medical specialty and a cornerstone of patient care influencing 70 to 80 percent of all medical decisions by providing diagnostic and treatment insight into the cause, nature and effects of the disease life cycle.
Laboratory services in British Columbia are administered under the Laboratory Services Act (LSA). The provision of laboratory services in the community and acute care settings fall under the authority of the Act and Laboratory Services Regulation.
In British Columbia, laboratory services are provided in approved laboratory facilities in community and hospital settings under the Laboratory Services Act. The LSA defines a laboratory facility as a part of a hospital that provides laboratory services, a facility that provides laboratory services, or a specimen collection station that is associated with a hospital or facility.
As of October 1, 2015, facilities providing laboratory services formerly governed under the Medicare Protection Act (MPA) or the Hospital Insurance Act (HIA) are considered “grandparented laboratory facilities” and continue to provide laboratory services under the LSA. These include:
- Laboratory facilities associated with a hospital as defined in section 1 of the HIA
- Diagnostic facilities that were approved (to October 1, 2015) to provide laboratory services under the MPA
- Specimen collection stations associated with either a hospital or a diagnostic facility as described above, and
- A laboratory that is funded, managed or operated by a prescribed agency (BC Cancer Agency, BC Centre for Disease Control, Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of BC, and the Provincial Health Services Authority)
Under the LSA, the Minister of Health has the authority to approve laboratory facilities to provide laboratory services as benefits. As part of this process, the Ministry of Health adheres to the principle of facilitating reasonable access throughout B.C. to medically necessary laboratory services for beneficiaries.
The Laboratory Services Outpatient Payment Schedule is issued by the Ministry of Health under the authority of the Laboratory Services Act for use by operators of approved laboratory facilities in British Columbia. The Payment Schedule is effective as of October 1, 2015.
The operator payment administration process (OPA) process and form will replace the former assignment of payment process and form for laboratory services only, and will facilitate fee-for-service outpatient claims made by laboratory facilities/operators.
A medical practitioner enrolled under the Medicare Protection Act may submit a request for any benefit (laboratory service or test) subject to any limitations or conditions.
Referring health care practitioners which include midwives, nurse practitioners, dentists, podiatrists and registered nurses (certified), may request laboratory tests or procedures associated with their respective scope of practice.
The FAQ section will answer a number of questions around the referral and provision of laboratory services, facility approvals, accessing services and benefits provided under the Laboratory Services Act.
Visit this page for the Standard Outpatient Laboratory Requisition form (HLTH 1901) and the Operator Payment Administration form (HLTH 2999).