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FAQs

What type of laboratory services do you provide?

We provide a broad range of laboratory diagnostic services for oral and maxillofacial diseases. These include conventional histopathology, cytopathology, immunohistochemical and direct immunofluorescence studies. We also provide diagnostic consultations for second opinions on biopsies from hospitals and pathology laboratories.

How can we get the biopsy kits?

Call us at 713-486-4411 or 713-486-4412 or email utoralpathology@uth.tmc.edu; please provide your practice name and complete address.

How many biopsy kits can you send us?

We usually supply you with 4 kits. Each time you return a specimen to our service, we mail you a new kit by return post. If you elect to do a biopsy for direct immunofluorescence study (usually for autoimmune disorders), please request that we sent send the special transport medium “Michel's fixative.” Kits are sent at no cost.

I have a biopsy that I need to submit for pathologic examination, but I do not have a biopsy kit. What should I do?

Routinely biopsies are fixed in 10% buffered formalin. If you do not have formalin, you can submit the tissue in 70% ethanol. Please do not place the tissue sample in water or saline, as this will not preserve the tissue sample.

Can I put more than one specimen in the biopsy vial?

If the specimens are from different locations, please use different biopsy vials. If you take multiple samples from the same lesion, or do not have additional biopsy kits, you can distinguish each tissue sample by placing different types of sutures in them before placing them in the same vial. We will separate them and provide different accession numbers in the laboratory during gross examination. Remember to describe what you did on the biopsy request form.

I have a biopsy container but the solution has dried up, leaving white salt flecks. Can I add water and submit the biopsy in this container?

No. By adding water, you are only reconstituting the buffer, which will not preserve the tissue sample.

How should I send my biopsy?

If you are in Texas, attach the Lone Star air bill supplied in the kit to the outside of the canister and call Lone Star at 1-800-800-8984 for pick up, or drop the kit in a convenient Lone Star Box. Outside of Texas, attach the Fed Ex air bill to the outside of the canister and call FedEx at 1-800-463-3339 for pick up, or drop in a convenient FedEx box.

Can I copy the Lone Star or Fed Ex label/air bill to send more specimens?

No. Each air bill has a unique number which may only be used once. Please call us for more air bills if you need them. Please keep the shipping receipts with the order tracking number for your records.

What is the cost for the biopsy?

It depends on the complexity of the case and diagnostic procedures. Most of the time routine cases cost $145, including shipping and handling. If you have any questions about the biopsy fee, please call Ms. Cecilia Garza at 713-486-4405.

Do you bill the patient or the doctor?

We bill either the patient or the doctor, as instructed by referring provider. If you wish us to bill the patient’s insurance, please include both sides of the patient’s insurance card.

Do you accept medical or dental insurance?

Pathologic diagnostic services are generally considered "medical” in nature and are typically billed to the patient’s medical insurance carrier. If the patient’s dental insurance does cover a biopsy charge (a very rare event), we will bill to the dental carrier.

What health insurance carriers do you accept?

Our biopsy service is a Medicare-participating provider but is considered out of network for all other commercial health insurance carriers. However, we do bill all carriers. We do not accept Medicaid or DMO insurance plans.

I do not have UPIN #; how do I proceed?

UPIN is no longer used. NPI numbers are used for billing.

Our office does not have the patient’s insurance information. Can you call the patient?

Yes, but you need to inform the patient that one of our billing representatives will call to get the insurance and billing information.

How long does it take to get the biopsy results?

Reports for routine biopsies that do not need any additional procedures, such as special stains or decalcification, are usually issued within 24-48 hours of the specimen’s arrival in our laboratory.

If I have not received the biopsy report in time, whom should I contact?

Please contact Tracy Robinson, senior support specialist, at 713-486-4407.

How will I get the biopsy report?

Biopsy reports will be faxed to your office immediately, and a hard copy of the report will be mailed to your office through USPS. Electronic delivery of the biopsy report will be available in very near future.

I have multiple clinic locations. How can I make sure that the biopsy report is sent to the correct location?

Please provide complete information on the biopsy request form that you mail with the specimen. We will use the provided address and contact information to send the report.

Can my patient call to get a copy of his or her biopsy report?

No. The biopsy report will be sent to the doctor who submitted the biopsy to our laboratory. Patients may obtain a copy of the pathology report from the physician or dentist.

Can my patient call to talk to the pathologist about his or her biopsy result?

No. The pathologist can discuss the case only with the doctor who contributed the biopsy

How can my biopsy be sent for a second opinion?

Please call us at 713-486-4411 or 713-486-4412 and we will provide the information to allow release of the report and/or slides from our laboratory.

I submitted a biopsy to a different pathology laboratory. I would like get this biopsy reviewed by your pathologists for a second opinion. How do I make this request?

Contact the pathology service that issued the initial report and request that the slides and reports of the case be sent to our biopsy service. Alternatively, you may call and ask us to contact the pathology laboratory. Please provide complete information on the lab address and phone, the patient information and any report number associated with the biopsy. The contributing lab may charge for this service, but our lab does not usually charge for the second opinion if the requesting doctor is a regular contributor to our service.