Collier Pathology Services, PA

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REPORT REVIEW
a
nd
AUTOPSY


Expertise and professional review

Our Pathologists have extensive experience in medico-legal and medical cases. Most surgical pathology reports and laboratory tests are written with technical terms that are difficult to interpret even for the doctors who request the test. Patients who have questions often do not find the surgeon or internist able to answer or understand all the implications of a pathology diagnosis. The internet offers unsubstantiated information, which can lead to inadequate understanding. Our Pathology experts can review surgical reports performed elsewhere and offer advice to family members and legal professional regarding any findings that are unclear or suspicious. We can offer suggestion and guidance based on the reports submitted for our review. It is not unusual to find critical information documented in the medical chart or pathology report that are easily missed by cursory examination. Imaging studies and their reports can have critical information missed by your doctor. Our Pathologists can contact directly the professionals involved in your care, with your written permission, and obtain crucial information that may have not been recorded in the report you were provided with. Information that could have contributed to a patient's unexpected negative outcome or even untimely death may be hidden within your loved one medical reports. Together with physical finding at the time of autopsy, we can identify and piece together crucial aspects of the patient's clinical course that can explain death.We offer these services to patients, families and legal firms. Please call us to discuss and get an estimate of cost.


Pathologists are the only authorized professionals who can perform autopsies. Medical Examiner Pathologists also perform judicial death investigations when an individual dies unexpectedly or as the result of injury or outside factors.

CPS Pathologists perform autopsies requested by physicians as well as private autopsies requested by family members or legal offices. 


Who can perform autopsies and why is an autopsy necessary?

Only Board-certified Pathologists can perform autopsies.An autopsy is essential not only to determine the person's cause of death, but also to identify any genetic predisposition to a disease or any concurring element that may have contributed or caused death. A post-mortem examination can also identify any additional disease process that was not apparent during the patient's hospitalization or treatment. Imaging studies (X-ray, CT-scans, MRI) can miss entirely or fail to properly characterize disease processes and can lead to inappropriate or counterproductive treatment options.  Through an autopsy family members can start the healing process after knowing the real conditions of their loved one or have a better understanding of what disease process was present and to what extent.



How to request a consultation on submitted material or a private autopsy?

Please call (315) 288-6779 (315-AUTOPSY) to request a private autopsy or to ask any questions you may have about the process [see also CAP website for contact info]. If the call is not answered, please leave a message with your name, a brief explanation of the case and how to best reach you. 

 


Billing for consultations or autopsies

Most consultations are paid by your insurance carrier. Review of outside and reports is an inexpensive process that can greatly increase the quality of the medical care you are receiving. Having a separate professional review and confirm pathology findings can make you confident that the elective surgery or treatment you will be receiving is in fact appropriate. The cases with the highest risk for you as a patient are breast, prostate and tissue malignancies, where a misdiagnosis can lead to no treatment or inappropriate treatment. It is standard of care to have every diagnosis of breast, prostate and skin melanoma reviewed by a trained Pathologist at the institution where you will have definitive treatment, to insure that a second opinion agrees with the original diagnosis. CPS Pathologists encourage you to contact your doctor or surgeon and request they submit your original pathology slides and report to our attention BEFORE elective surgery or treatment is scheduled, to protect you in case there is a disagreement on the diagnosis. 

 

Medicare and insurance providers and managed care organizations do not pay for autopsies. Private autopsies requested by family members or next of kin (see FL disposition) are billed to the family. The person(s) who designates the disposition of the deceased and requests the autopsy must sign a Consent for Autopsy and accept financial responsibility for the post-mortem examination fees. Payment in full is expected before the autopsy is performed.

A private autopsy requires the expertise and professional skills of a specially-trained Pathologist, who would examine the body, tissues and fluids to determine manner and cause of death and issue a written report.

A typical autopsy fee is about $3,000 and includes performance of autopsy including photographs and final written report. A Preliminary Anatomical Diagnosis Report is available within 48 hours from the time the autopsy was started. A Final Report is completed in 20 business days (longer when special studies/tests are requested).

CPS sample fees for private Autopsy services are:

Full Autopsy (includes brain) = $3,500
Limited Autopsy (no brain) = $2,800
Single organ Autopsy = $1,200
Legal deposition/court appearance = $1,000/hour (minimum 3 hours)
Review of chart or medical records with report, scheduling fee = $500/hour
Trial participation and testimony = $5,000/day

Additional fees may be charged for travel time, reference and toxicology lab testing, electron microscopy and special supplies.