Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the benefits of using the UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal?
  2. What are the system requirements for using the UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal? 
  3. What type of security is protecting my data?
  4. Can I request “stat” processing?
  5. What types of images can I upload?
  6. How long will it take for my image(s) take to upload?
  7. Can I grant you access to our image server rather than uploading my images?
  8. Are there any services that are not available through the UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal?
  9. How long will it take to receive a diagnosis using the UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal?
  10. I have a lot of clinical data on my case. How can I provide this without retyping the information?
  11. How do I receive my completed pathology report?
  12. Can I cancel my request?
  13. What if I am contactedto supply additional materials such as additional digital images, glass slides, and/or paraffin blocks? Where do I send them? Are there special requirements?
  14. I am having problems logging on and/or submitting my request.  Who do I contact?
  15. Who do I contact for general specimen questions or specimen requirements when using the UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal?
  16. Is there a cost associated with this service?
  17. Do you accept all insurance types?
  18. My institution is responsible for the payment of the services requested. Can you bill us?
  19. How do I provide institution, insurance, and credit card information to you?
  20. I have been asked to send additional materials so that molecular testing can be performed. Are there additional charges?
  21. What happens when I submit a request using the digital portal and additional material, glass slides, and/or paraffin blocks is/are requested? Will I receive two charges?

 

  1. What are the benefits of using the UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal?
    The portal provides you with immediate access to an expert team of diagnostic Anatomic Pathologists who are physicians of UPMC and faculty at The University of Pittsburgh. We have one of the largest academic departments in the country with expertise in all areas of Anatomic Pathology and operate within a Center of Excellence model of diagnostic sign-out. Many of our pathologists are leaders in their sub-specialty fields and will provide a comprehensive and current perspective on surgical and cytopathology cases. By using the UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal, you save on overnight shipping charges and will receive your results much more quickly, thus expediting the patient’s treatment. For a complete roster of our diagnosticians, please visit our website at path.upmc.edu.
  2. What are the system requirements for using the UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal? 
    The portal was designed and tested for Internet Explorer 7 or higher. It has also been tested with Mozilla-compliant browsers, but we cannot guarantee that it will work for every Mozilla browser available.
  3. What type of security is protecting my data?
    All data is encrypted for transmission via https. We also strictly enforce all HIPAA guidelines for storage and display of Personal Health Information (PHI).  
  4. Can I request “stat” processing?
    “STAT” processing is not available through the UPMC Pathology Digital Consultation Portal at this time. If you require special handling of your specimen, visit our website at path.upmc.edu and we will do our best to accommodate your request.   
  5. What types of images can I upload?
    The WSI uploaders can accept all major whole slide image formats. This includes Aperio, Hamamatsu, and Zeiss,*.svs, *.vms, *.vmu, *.mrxs, and *.ndpi.
    The static image/document uploader accepts all common document and web image formats: *.doc, *.docx, *.xls, *.xlsx, *.pdf, *.ppt, *.pptx, *.jpg, *.bmp, *.jpeg, *.gif, *.htm, and *.html.
  6. How long will it take for my image(s) take to upload?
    The time required for uploads is determined by your Internet speed, as well as the size and quantity of the files. A 20x WSI file could upload in as little as 15 minutes, or it could take several hours. The asynchronous uploader will continue to process image files on your desktop as long as you don’t close the window. You can minimize the uploader window or move it to the background and conduct other non–image-loading work while your image is uploading. Please do not begin submitting a second case until all uploads are completed from the first.
  7. Can I grant you access to our image server rather than uploading my images?
    Yes, please attach a document with instructions for connecting to your image server along with the necessary credentials.
  8. Are there any services that are not available through the UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal?
    At this time, hematopathology cases cannot be accepted using the UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal.
  9. How long will it take to receive a diagnosis using the UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal?
    Under most circumstances, and when additional materials are not needed, we will render a diagnosis within one day—24 hours upon receipt of the uploaded image(s). You will receive a comprehensive surgical pathology report with interpretative comment focused on key differential diagnostic and therapeutic observations.
  10. I have a lot of clinical data on my case. How can I provide this without retyping the information?
    You may scan these documents and then upload/submit the PDF with the documentation at the prompt “Upload Clinical Data” at the bottom of the Clinical Data section of the request for consultation.
  11. How do I receive my completed pathology report?
    You will receive an email indicating that the consultation has been completed. The pathology report document is created dynamically when you log in to your account to review the final diagnosis. You will be able to print your completed report at your convenience or save it locally from the web site. You will not automatically receive a hard copy printed report at the time of completion.  
  12. Can I cancel my request? 
    Once your request has been accepted and the services have begun, you cannot cancel your request. Please let us know if there are extenuating circumstances by contacting us via email at pisc@upmc.edu or by phone at 412-647-9170.
  13. What if I am contactedto supply additional materials such as additional digital images, glass slides, and/or paraffin blocks? Where do I send them? Are there special requirements?
    If additional materials are needed to enable our pathologists to render an accurate diagnosis, the requestor will be notified immediately via email. Additional digital images can be added to the existing digital cases via the portal and the digital slide portal charges will apply. If glass slides or paraffin blocks are needed, the materials and a completed consultation form (found at path.upmc.edu/consult/AP.html) can be sent to one of the four hospitals referenced in the Contact Us section or on our website path.upmc.edu, based on the location of your desired consultant.
    Please indicate on the consultation request form that the additional materials were requested pursuant to a UPMC Pathology Digital Consultation Portal email from one of our pathologists.
    For more information about our consultation services, standard costs for non-digital consultations, information regarding sending material, or requirements for fresh tissue, please refer to our Department of Pathology Consultation webpage at path.upmc.edu.
  14. I am having problems logging on and/or submitting my request.  Who do I contact?
    For support with this application or to report problems or issues, please contact pisc@upmc.edu or call 412-647-9170. Please include “UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal” in your report or via email. 
  15. Who do I contact for general specimen questions or specimen requirements when using the UPMC Digital Pathology Consultation Portal?
    Contact us via email at APTelepathScty@upmc.edu.
  16. Is there a cost associated with this service?  
    There is no fee to register and use the portal. There is a cost, however, for the diagnosis of the consult. The cost for invoicing a consult to the requesting institution using this digital portal is based on the material submitted and the complexity of the case. The general range is as follows: 1 slide $150, 2-4 slides $250, 5-10 slides $350, and more than 10 slides $500 and up. 
  17. Do you accept all insurance types?
    At this time, the University of Pittsburgh Physicians accept most Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield products. We will accept Medical Assistance from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. We participate with a large number of varied insurance companies; however, participation with any insurance company is subject to change. We will do our best when verified and complete patient demographic and insurance information is provided to bill the insurance company. Please provide an authorization when required. We will use due diligence to collect from an insurance company including working a denial; however, if for any reason payment is not made by the insurance company, your institution will be responsible for payment. Please refer to our website path.upmc.edu for additional information.
  18. My institution is responsible for the payment of the services requested. Can you bill us?
    Yes, please indicate via the radio button “bill institution” or “institution credit card” so that the submitting institution is responsible to pay the invoice when making your request for services via the portal and when sending in additional materials for testing.
  19. How do I provide institution, insurance, and credit card information to you?
    You cancomplete the data fields related to the payment method, or you can upload the institution or insurance documents into the drop-down box that appears AFTER you hit the “submit request” button. Bill institution information is created when you register. Patient demographics and insurance information can be submitted using the form. At this time, when you select the payment method of institution credit card, you will be contacted by telephone to complete the request.
  20. I have been asked to send additional materials so that molecular testing can be performed. Are there additional charges?
    Yes, for specialized testing such as FISH and molecular testing, there are additional charges for both the technical and the professional components of the testing. Please refer to our website at path.upmc.edu for rates.
  21. What happens when I submit a request using the digital portal and additional material, glass slides, and/or paraffin blocks is/are requested? Will I receive two charges? 
    If your case is reviewed using the portal only, the above rates will apply. If it is necessary for you to send additional materials via overnight mail, the standard consult rates apply for the interpretation. You will receive only one charge for the consultation itself. Please see our website at path.upmc.edu for standard rates.