College of American Pathologists

  LMIP® Standardized
  Billable Test Counts (SBT)




Updated January 8, 2013

The LMIP uses the CAP standardized billable test (SBT) to establish a common basis for counting tests among laboratories. Unlike other methods of test counting (relative value units [RVU] and unadjusted billable tests), the CAP standardized billable test eliminates billing, accounting, and interpretation variations across institutions. The LMIP shields your institution from these data issues and ultimately provides you the most accurate comparisons.

Many hospital-wide benchmarking tools do not define test counting methodology. As a result, LMIP users have reported that laboratory cost per test - as measured by hospital-wide benchmarking programs - can vary widely and external comparisons can be misleading. For example, one participant in a hospital-wide benchmarking program may "explode" profile tests and count each component individually, while another participant may count the profile only once. The laboratory submitting the higher test number will appear more productive, although that may not be the case.

Because this diversity in CPT code usage does not create "apple to apple" comparisons, the LMIP uses the SBT to insure that all laboratories count tests in a uniform manner. The SBT as a stable entity, provides management with a reliable tool to track laboratory operations over time.

The SBT is the primary measurement of output for participating laboratories. The SBT is defined as a test or procedure that meets all of the following criteria:

  • Ordered by a physician or caregiver
  • Associated with a CPT code
  • Generates a result, product, or billable phlebotomy procedure
  • Performed by laboratory personnel

The LMIP users guide, which is provided to every LMIP subscriber, provides detailed instructions for counting billable tests. LMIP also provides subscribers with spreadsheets that make it easy to count tests properly. A sample spreadsheet is available for viewing on screen or downloading directly to your hard drive.


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