Public Release:  COLA to offer lab quality program to American College of Physicians

ACP members to receive discounts on Patient-Centered Laboratory Excellence program

American College of Physicians

January 10, 2013 -- COLA, a leading laboratory accreditor, today announced an agreement with the American College of Physicians (ACP) to promote a program of laboratory excellence to ACP members. The joint initiative is designed to assist Patient-Centered Medical Home practices in delivering quality and value-driven laboratory medicine to their patients through a new COLA laboratory recognition program, called Patient-Centered Laboratory Excellence (PCLE).

The program emphasizes continuous good laboratory practices above and beyond current regulatory requirements for clinical laboratories performing PPM, waived, moderate and high complexity testing.

"Through the PCLE program, COLA is helping to frame the laboratory's proper role in emerging new healthcare delivery models such as the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO)," said COLA CEO Doug Beigel. "Practitioners using the services of a COLA PCLE-recognized laboratory can be assured of high quality results, generated by well trained staff who use state-of-the-art communications to deliver enhanced access to results to both patients and providers.

"We are very pleased to welcome the American College of Physicians' support in the PCLE process, which will ultimately encompass many different organizations, representing a wide variety of healthcare aspects," he added.

"The quality and safety of in-office laboratory testing is a key priority for ACP since many clinical decisions are based on the results obtained," said Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, FACP, who leads ACP's Medical Practice, Professionalism & Quality division. "COLA's PCLE program, coupled with ACP's Medical Laboratory Evaluation proficiency testing program, will help practices maintain confidence in the quality of their laboratory services and provide patient-centered care."

Under the terms of the agreement, ACP will promote the PCLE program to their membership, including participants in ACP's Medical Laboratory Evaluation proficiency testing program. ACP practices that enroll in the recognition program will be entitled to discounted COLA fees.

"With estimates that up to 70 percent of all medical decisions are based on results obtained from lab testing, the clinical lab will play a critical role in evolving new models of healthcare," Beigel concluded. "By embracing the PCLE recognition program, laboratories can assure practitioners that use their services that their lab results can be trusted. This ultimately translates into better, more efficient patient care."

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About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 133,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

About COLA

COLA accredits more than 7,000 medical laboratories and provides the clinical laboratory with a program of education, consultation, and accreditation. The organization is an independent, non-profit accreditor whose education program and standards enable clinical laboratories and staff to meet U.S. CLIA and other regulatory requirements. For more information about COLA accreditation services and educational products, and online educational opportunities, please call 800-981-9883 or visit COLA's web site at www.cola.org or www.colainsider.org.

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