Q. Who are pathologists?
A. Pathologists are physician specialists who consult with other members of the
medical community in the care of a patient. Examples of such consultations
include diagnosis of biopsies and interpretation of clinical tests such as those
performed in the blood and chemistry, hematology, and microbiology
laboratories. Pathologists are independent medical specialists who work in the
hospital as do Emergency Department physicians, radiologists and
Q. Does the bill I received from the hospital include payment to the pathologist.
A. No. The bill you received from the hospital is purely a hospital charge and is
referred to as the technical component of pathology, whereas the bill from the
pathologist is referred to as the professional component.
The technical component is used by the hospital to help pay nurses, technologists
and other people who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the hospital.
Technical components are also found in hospital bills from the departments of
emergency medicine, radiology and anesthesiology. These medical specialists
bill separately for their professional medical services.
Q. What is the professional component of the services rendered in anatomic
A. This is the compensation the pathologist receives for looking at microscopic
slides(biopsies, surgical resection specimens, cytology, bone marrow) and
making the appropriate diagnosis.
Q. What is the professional component of services rendered in clinical pathology?
A. This is compensation for services performed in the clinical laboratory such as
quality assurance, evaluation, and implementation, interpretation and clinical
relevance of new laboratory tests(e, g., blood chemistry, hematology,
microbiology, blood bank) as required by law and performed either by the
pathologist or people under his/her supervision.