College of American Pathologists
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  PAP/NGC Program Review





cap today

May 2003
Special Section

HIPAA and slide donations

Dina R. Mody, MD

The CAP has worked with its legal team and an ad hoc committee of resource committee members to address how the new HIPAA regulations, which went into effect April 14, affect slides donated to CAP programs. Here is the procedure that applies to the Pap program:

The College will obtain residual diagnostic tissues or specimens for use in proficiency testing and educational programs only if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The specimen was not collected with the intent that it be used in any College program.
  • The member retains adequate quantities of the tissue to satisfy applicable tissue retention requirements—or determines that such requirements are no longer applicable.
  • The specimen is made anonymous before it is sent to the College.
  • The donor assumes responsibility for the proper packaging, labeling, and shipping of such materials in accordance with its laboratory procedures and all applicable laws and regulations.

In accordance with CAP practice, all information by which the College could determine the identity of the patient is removed. All labs should block out the patient’s name if it is on the slide. The CAP, upon receipt, gives the slide a unique number, and thus there is no way for a participant who receives slides from the program to be able to track the individual slide back to the patient.

Please continue to donate slides to the program. The College will reimburse you for your time and effort as per previously published guidelines.