Laboratory Question for the Week of December 24, 2018

Laboratory Compliance Question of the Week

Question:

We operate CLIA moderate-complexity laboratories. Our testing menu offers several otherwise CLIA-waived tests (e.g., influenza testing, Strep A testing, certain chemistry analyses) in addition to some moderate-complexity testing such as a complete blood count and blood gases.

Are we REQUIRED to use a -QW modifier on those waived tests, or are we simply ALLOWED to use the modifier but not otherwise required?

Answer:

Modifier QW (CLIA-waived test) was implemented for use by providers who hold a CLIA waiver to perform simplified analysis tests. The types of tests requiring use of QW modifier are commonly performed in the physician office or clinic setting. Hospital laboratories are not required to append this modifier to tests performed in the inpatient or outpatient setting.

Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time it was published. However, due to the nature of industry changes over time we cannot guarantee its validity after the year it was published.