325 Waukegan Road
|Division of Advocacy
1350 I Street NW,
|CAP STS (SNOMED Terminology Solutions™)
500 Lake Cook Road
Officers of the College:
- Stanley J. Robboy, MD, FCAP, President
- Gene N. Herbek, MD, FCAP, President-Elect
- Paul N. Valenstein, MD, FCAP, Secretary-Treasurer
With more than 18,000 members, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of board-certified pathologists and pathologists-in-training.
More than 7,000.
Subscribers enrolled in CAP Proficiency Testing Programs:
Approximately 22,000 laboratories.
The College of American Pathologists (CAP) is the worldwide leader in laboratory quality assurance. The College advocates accountable, high-quality, and cost-effective patient care. The CAP, founded in 1946, has had more impact than any other organization on the standardization and improvement of clinical laboratory procedures.
Pathologists play an integral role in the primary health care team. They are physicians who obtain and interpret data as the result of the examination of tissues, blood, and other body fluids for diagnosis and patient care. CAP members are involved in a broad range of disciplines, including surgical pathology, cytopathology, dermatopathology, neuropathology, forensic pathology, blood banking/ transfusion medicine, clinical chemistry, microbiology, immunopathology, hematology, genetics, and molecular pathology.
The CAP is committed to the success of pathologists today and tomorrow. In response to significant challenges and opportunities facing pathology today, the CAP has launched a generational strategic campaign to transform the specialty. The term Transformation refers to collective efforts under way at the CAP and across the specialty to affirm and increase pathologists’ value to patients and other health care stakeholders and to secure pathologists’ future as leaders in 21st century medicine.
The transformation of the specialty will have an enormous impact on the way pathologists practice and organize; the way clinical colleagues, patients, and others in the medical community perceive them; and the way reimbursement for pathologists’ services is structured.
Transformation of the Specialty of Pathology
A wide variety of services and programs are currently in development to support the needs of pathologists in their changing roles, including practice guideline development, benchmarking research, advocacy and education programs, diagnostic/practice management tools, and mentoring programs.
Through the transformation initiatives, the CAP will enable pathologists to change fundamental aspects of how and what they practice in the future, strengthening the distinctive contributions pathologists can make to patients and health care colleagues. To learn more, please visit the transformation website, cap.org/transformation.
The CAP Pathology & Laboratory Quality Center (the Center) is a forum for developing guidelines and consensus statements related to the practice of pathology. The Center focuses on helping pathologists position themselves within the health care team closer to the patient and/or therapy, and it works to strengthen CAP alliances and collaboration with other medical specialties and patient advocacy organizations. Specifically, the Center:
CAP Policy Roundtable
The Policy Roundtable (PRT) is charged with increasing the visibility of the CAP in the public policy arena and elevating the CAP’s role in the development of public policies that will shape the future of pathology. The PRT develops an agenda for public policy research and public policy positions that support the practice of pathology; conducts policy research that supports the CAP’s mission and fills gaps in its policy portfolio; and develops white papers and publications as it identifies and develops relevant policy issues.
One of the first projects of the CAP Policy Roundtable was the release of a white paper entitled, “Contributions of Pathologists in Accountable Care Organizations: A Case Study,” at the CAP Policy Meeting in May 2012. The white paper provides insights into three successful, established ACOs where pathologists have helped ensure the success of the ACO. The white paper is available at cap.org/advocacy.
For more than 50 years, the CAP has offered accreditation to laboratories. The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is an internationally recognized program based on the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Standards. Designed to go well beyond regulatory compliance, the program provides a solid foundation for quality practices and helps laboratories achieve the highest standards of excellence to positively impact patient care.
The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Standards are translated into detailed and focused checklist requirements. The checklists, which provide a blueprint of quality practices for laboratories to follow, constantly evolve to reflect changes in technology; and they are tailored specifically to the size and scope of individual laboratories.
The Laboratory Accreditation Program meets the needs of a variety of laboratory settings, from complex university medical centers to physician office laboratories. The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program offers the most complete array of disciplines and testing procedures available in today’s laboratory. The program also accommodates all testing sites, ensuring consistent levels of service throughout institutions and health care systems.
The CAP incorporates compliance assessment and process improvement into each step of the two-year accreditation cycle. Onsite inspection is used to verify compliance, assess the overall quality of the laboratory, and identify deficiencies that can affect the quality of laboratory performance. CAP staff works with laboratories to ensure that deficiencies are corrected and documented before accreditation can be granted. Throughout the following two years, the CAP assists laboratories in maintaining continuous compliance. Approximately one year following the onsite inspection, the laboratory performs a self-inspection to ensure sustained compliance and quality improvement. This ongoing process ensures continued, optimum laboratory performance.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has granted the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program deeming authority. The Joint Commission (TJC) also recognizes CAP accreditation that can be used to meet many state certification requirements.
CAP accreditation also encompasses other areas:
- Biorepositories (three-year cycle)
- Forensic drug testing
- Reproductive laboratories (in partnership with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine)
- International Organizations for Standardization (ISO) 15189SM
As noted earlier, the College provides accreditation for the ISO 15189 standard for medical laboratories. This program is a voluntary, nonregulated accreditation that does not replace the CAP’s CLIA-based Laboratory Accreditation Program. CAP 15189 compliments CAP accreditation and focuses on optimizing processes to:
- Improve patient care
- Strengthen the deployment of quality standards
- Reduce errors and risk
- Control costs
The CAP’s newest program, the Biorepository Accreditation Program, was introduced in 2011–2012. The first of its kind, the program is a three-year, peer-based accreditation program developed to drive the adoption of standards through consistent application of best practices and evidence-based standards. The CAP’s new program will further strengthen the quality of patient care and ensure consistent, verifiable quality of biospecimens and biorepositories lacking in the current environment.
Proficiency Testing (PT)
With 600 products, the CAP’s Surveys and Anatomic Pathology Education Program is the largest laboratory peer comparison program in the world. The program allows laboratories to evaluate their performance regularly and improve the accuracy of the patient results they provide. Through these programs, the CAP provides individual laboratories with unknown specimens for testing. The participants analyze the specimens and return the results to the CAP for evaluation. In turn, each participating laboratory receives a report of its performance as well as a report summarizing the results of all participating laboratories.
The CAP also offers the EXCEL® program with more than 100 modules, designed for the physician office laboratory and small hospital laboratory.
The CAP Surveys and EXCEL programs are approved to satisfy proficiency testing requirements by CMS, TJC, the Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation (COLA), and state agencies have approved the CAP Surveys and EXCEL programs to satisfy their proficiency testing requirements.
Quality Management Tools
The CAP’s comprehensive collection of Quality Management Tools (QMT) help laboratories identify quality improvement opportunities and monitor progress over time; establish realistic goals for the laboratory using a set of customized external benchmarks; and demonstrate the ability to meet accreditation requirements. The CAP’s tools include:
- Q-PROBES™ In-Depth Quality Assessment Program
- Q-TRACKS® Continuous Quality Monitoring Program
- Q-MONITORS™ Customized Quality Monitors Program
- LMIP® Laboratory Management Index Program
- CAP LINKS™ The Laboratory Integrated Knowledge Source
The CAP is pathology’s most effective legislative and regulatory advocate on Capitol Hill. With an office in Washington, DC, since 1970, the CAP ensures pathologists have a strong voice in our nation’s capital. Since health care reform has introduced an array of long- and short-term changes in health care delivery and payment, the CAP has a “Now and Future” policy agenda that presses forward on today’s issues while ensuring the role of pathologists in the future and pursuing the goals of the Transformation.
The CAP represents pathologists in national health care discussions by maintaining critical relationships with members of Congress, policymakers, and key national health care organizations. These relationships are strengthened through active participation in multistakeholder coalitions and public-private partnerships—addressing current and future practice concerns; quality measurement and reporting, compliance; contractual agreements; physician payment; regulatory and oversight initiatives; innovation and technology; practice characteristics; and payer issues.
Our work with Congress and various federal regulatory agencies helps policy makers recognize the benefits to having pathologists consult with patients and other physicians on medical test selection, disease diagnosis and patient treatment. We also advocate maintaining the highest level of medical laboratory safety while ensuring regulations are not over-reaching, compliance is not overly burdensome, and equitable treatment for pathologists exists in physician payment regulations.
On the state level, we represent the interests of pathologists by actively working with state pathology societies. Over the last eight years, the CAP has undertaken substantial legislative and regulatory advocacy in more than three dozen states, helping craft laws and regulations that help protect the profession against economic and practice challenges. Indeed, the CAP, partnering with state pathology societies, has been successful in advocating enactment of direct billing requirements in 14 states since 2003.
PathPAC, the CAP’s political action committee, pools voluntary contributions of pathologists across the country to support candidates for elected office who demonstrate their responsiveness to the concerns of our profession.
The Pathology Advocacy Network (PathNET), our grassroots program for members, facilitates the building of personal relationships between pathologists and Congress.
The CAP’s annual policy meeting and national lobby day in the spring has become a premier event for CAP members to actively participate in grassroots advocacy efforts and speak directly with top policymakers, including their Congressional representatives. The CAP 2013 Policy Meeting will be held May 6–8 in Washington, DC.
The College’s Advocacy office—by making the voices of our members and the profession heard—continues to build new relationships and strengthen existing partnerships in the public and private sectors, on both the state and national level, with the key decision makers to shape the present and future of pathology.
The CAP is the leading resource for information and education in the practice and science of pathology and laboratory medicine. Leading experts develop education activities focused on all six Maintenance of Certification (MOC) competency categories, including emerging scientific and technical knowledge and laboratory and practice management. The curriculum of more than 300 courses offers pathologists and laboratory professionals with practical tools and resources to:
- Continually improve their scientific and practice skills
- Meet licensure and recertification requirements
- Prepare for new and enhanced roles
In October 2011, the College introduced its Learning Portal as a comprehensive tool for continuing education. A central feature of the Learning Portal—the Personal Progress Check—allows pathologists to compare their current level of expertise against a range of competencies. Pathologists can develop a highly personalized learning plan to address identified areas for improvement, then search a list of more than 400 learning pptions and quickly locate specific resources to address their educational needs. Many of the resources on the Learning Portal are offered by organizations other than CAP, including a growing list of cooperating societies who contribute their considerable expertise. Since its launch, the Learning Portal has seen rapid adoption with more than 20,000 unique users.
Over the past few years, the College has launched several new programs that build and maintain the competencies of pathologists and laboratory professionals. The CAP Advanced Practical Pathology Programs (AP3s,) allow pathologists to demonstrate special knowledge and skill in select practice areas. The College also offers an expanding menu of self-assessment modules (SAMs) to help ABP diplomates meet MOC requirements.
The online Competency Assessment Program helps laboratories meet CLIA and laboratory accreditation program requirements for competency assessment and training of laboratory professionals through convenient online courses. The program is comprehensive, allowing laboratories to choose from dozens of CE courses in 11 disciplines. The program provides training in more than100 instrument-specific observation checklists. Individual laboratories can tailor the courses and checklists to fit their laboratory. New for 2012 is the Safety & Compliance Courses package, which includes seven courses on safety and OSHA standards for annual laboratory compliance training.
Education courses are available in a variety of engaging and interactive formats, including live workshops, online courses, audio and Web conferences, and journal-based programs. CAP Learning is also responsible for developing and coordinating more than 90 courses at the College’s annual meeting.
CAP STS (SNOMED Terminology Solutions®) is the CAP’s professional services consultancy with a diversified offering related to health information strategy and planning, clinical health information management, and health care standards. CAP STS is committed to improving patient care through the advancement of interoperable electronic health records (EHRs) and works with provider organizations, hospitals, health IT vendors, health information exchange initiatives, universities, research centers, and government agencies throughout the world.
CAP STS helps clients navigate complex issues and meet Meaningful Use requirements and has expertise in working with health care standards such as SNOMED Clinical Terms® (SNOMED CT®), LOINC®, RxNorm, and other clinical terminology standards that advance electronic health record interoperability. The CAP is the original creator of SNOMED Clinical Terms® (SNOMED CT®)—a globally recognized controlled medical vocabulary and standard in the electronic health record—and has fostered its development for more than 40 years. CAP STS continues to develop and maintain SNOMED CT® on behalf of the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO®).
House of Delegates
The House of Delegates serves the College membership and the profession of pathology by discussing the most important issues facing the College and the future of the profession. The House is an important vehicle for letting the College leadership know what pathologists are thinking on the issues facing them.
The CAP’s Residents Forum was established in 1988, to provide residents with a voice in organized pathology and with networking opportunities, as well as to identify future leaders in pathology. The College’s Residents Forum continues to be the largest and most successful organization for medical residents in the country, second only to the American Medical Association (AMA) Resident and Fellow Section. The members of the Residents Forum meet twice per year to discuss issues of special concern to pathology resident physicians. In addition, membership of most CAP councils, commissions, and committees include Junior Members who are active in Residents Forum.
The CAP continues to produce nationally recognized patient and physician education information on health and wellness topics, including genomics, cancer, and infectious diseases. The College’s Communications division pursues media opportunities for CAP members to educate the public on the pathologists’ integral role on the patient care team. Through these proactive efforts, more than 2 billion readers, listeners, and viewers have seen and heard news about the live-saving contributions of pathologists to patient care.
In addition, the CAP offers two websites for patients.
MyBiopsy.org provides accurate and credible information on more than 40 of the most common cancers and cancer-related conditions, including those affecting the breast, colon, lungs, and skin. The site includes answers to questions about cancer, lists of available treatment options, a glossary of key terms, and pictures of normal and diseased tissues, among other features. Visitors to the site also will find survivor stories, tips on how to read a pathology report, and recent cancer news.
MyHealthTestReminder.org is a free website designed to help individuals remember to schedule important health screening tests and/or make a blood donation. Registrants to the site can receive email and text message reminders. The site also offers information about preventive care and is available in English and Spanish.
Since 2001, the College has offered media and presentation training to more than 360 CAP members through the CAP Spokespersons Training Program. These members are available to speak with the media on a variety of pathology-related health and wellness topics, including genetic testing, cervical cancer screening, cholesterol testing, and blood banking, among others.
CAP TODAY, the College’s monthly news magazine, enjoys the highest readership among all laboratory publications. Each issue reports medical, industry, and business news to more than 50,000 laboratory professionals. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine is the College’s peer-reviewed, scientific journal giving editorial focus to the introduction and evaluation of new knowledge and technology. STATLINE is a biweekly electronic newsletter designed to keep members informed of new legislative and regulatory developments as they happen, serving as the first word on the public policy issues facing our members. Legislative and regulatory news is also delivered via Twitter, @CAPDCAdvocacy.
The CAP Online Career Center
The CAP Online Career Center (OCC) is an ideal resource for any pathologist seeking a position or for employers/recruiters seeking job candidates for pathology positions. This valuable service is available free of charge to pathologists seeking positions. A charge applies for placing an ad. Sign up at cap.org or call 888-884-8242. The OCC also offers timely career development resources such as online articles, books, Web links, and downloadable presentations.
The CAP Foundation champions patient-centered and humanitarian roles for pathologists, striving to connect people, especially those in need, to the specialized, life-saving skills of pathologists.
One of the CAP Foundation’s most significant humanitarian efforts, the See, Test & Treat® program, provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings to women in medically underserved communities throughout the United States. CAP member pathologists, together with a team of health care professionals, volunteer their time and expertise to deliver cervical and breast cancer screenings, diagnoses, and follow-up to care or treatment recommendations in one day and at no cost to the women served.
In 2011, the CAP Foundation introduced the Gene and Jean Herbek Humanitarian Award, an annual award to provide a $25,000 grant to a CAP Fellow who provides leadership in a See, Test & Treat program. The purpose of the award is to build the impact and extend the reach of the See, Test & Treat program beyond its core services. The Herbek Humanitarian Award is inspired by CAP President-elect Gene N. Herbek, MD, FCAP, who brought the first See, Test & Treat program to Native American women in South Dakota, and by his wife Jean, who shares his commitment.
In addition to the patient-centered See, Test & Treat program, the CAP Foundation supports notable grants and awards through which significant strides in pathology and patient care emerge. These include the Leadership Development Award, the John H. Rippey Grant for Laboratory Quality Assurance, Translational Diagnostics Advanced Training Awards, and the Scholars Research Program.
Through the generous financial support of CAP members, staff, industry, and patient advocacy groups, the CAP Foundation serves as the leading philanthropic organization for pathologists. Since its inception in 1963, the CAP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, has proudly granted millions of dollars to support pathology education, research, and humanitarian programs.
For more information about how to make a tax-deductible contribution or apply for a grant or award, visit foundation.cap.org, or call 800-323-4040 ext. 7846 or email CAPFdn@cap.org.