Hospital Labs Expanding PCR-Based Test Menus
PCR-based testing for gastrointestinal profiles, gonorrhea/ chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis panels, and herpes simplex virus (HSV) are the tests that most hospital labs plan to add to their test menus within the next 12 months, according to LE’s Hospital Laboratory Survey. These choices are obviously related to the need to find work for excess PCR testing capacity due to the wind down of the pandemic.
Twelve surveyed hospitals labs (or 8%) said they plan to add gastrointestinal panel testing by PCR. The majority of these labs specifically mentioned the BioFire GI Panel for 22 of the most common pathogens associated with gastroenteritis.
Another nine surveyed hospital labs (or 6%) cited plans to add PCR testing for gonorrhea/chlamydia (CPT 87591 & 87491).
Seven hospital labs (or 5%) indicated they will add PCR testing for vaginitis panels (CPT 87798). Most indicated their panel will include three tests: bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis and trichomoniasis.
Among the non-PCR tests that hospital labs plan to insource were procalcitonin (CPT 84145), free testosterone (CPT 84402), tuberculosis (CPT 86480) and Lyme disease antibody (CPT86618).