Medical Test Sites (MTS) General Information

Frequently Asked Questions

When may I start billing for testing?

Once you received a copy of the Medical Test Site (MTS) license, you may start billing for laboratory testing as of the "effective" date indicated on the license.

Our insurance carrier wants a copy of my Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments certificate. How do I get a copy?

Since Washington is a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) exempt state, laboratories don't receive a separate CLIA certificate. The CLIA number appears on the MTS license. The MTS license is your CLIA certificate, so make a copy and send that to your insurance carrier or other labs that are requesting a copy.

I am a certified phlebotomist. Do I need a license in Washington?

Anyone in Washington doing an invasive procedure such as phlebotomy must have a medical assistant certification as long as they don't already have a healthcare professional license such as RN, LPN, MD, etc.

Whom do I call with questions?

Call the Medical Test Site Program for information about the MTS licensing program at 360-236-4661.

How does my doctor qualify to be director?

The qualifications for a director vary with the type of MTS license. Refer to the MTS application forms webpage for specific information for each license type. Please call 360-236-4661 with questions.

Can a physician office laboratory take specimens from the outside?

Yes, physician office laboratory (POL) can take specimens from outside providers but they need to notify our Medical Test Site Program staff members that they're no longer a physician office laboratory, but an independent laboratory. We'll then change the site type designation to an independent laboratory in the state and federal CLIA databases. The lab also needs to follow federal direct billing requirements.

What is a competency assessment?

Laboratories  must ensure the adequacy and competency of their staff who perform patient testing. A competency assessment is an evaluation of the ability of testing personnel to apply their skill, knowledge, and experience to perform laboratory duties correctly. Competency assessment must incorporate six specific procedures to comply with minimum regulatory requirements, and the assessments must be approved by the laboratory director or qualified designee. These requirements are outlined in the following document created by CMS (PDF), which details useful information on performing competency assessments for laboratory personnel.