Provider Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question below for more information:

Services to Private Practice Offices
Is Pacific Pathology Associates, Inc. a private practice?
Do you provide services to private practice offices?
What services do you offer?

Services to Hospitals
Which hospitals do you staff?
What services do you provide at those hospitals?
Are your Pathologists board certified?

Specimen Preparation & Courier Service
How do I prepare specimens?
How do I get my specimens to you?
What types of tests do you send to outside labs?

Results
How do I get my results?
What is your turnaround time for results?
How do I get results faster than normal turnaround time?

Quality Assurance and 2nd Opinions
Do you have a quality assurance program?
How do I order a 2nd opinion?
Can patients have their specimens back?

Direct Patient Care
Do you provide hands-on patient care?
Do you have a Fine Needle Aspirate Clinic?
Do you have informational resources for providers and patients?


Is Pacific Pathology Associates, Inc. a private practice?
Yes, we are an independent pathology practice and our physicians have privileges at 5 hospitals. We employ 8 Pathologists and 2 Pathologists' Assistants. We are your local physician colleagues and appreciate your support.
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Do you provide services to private physician offices?
Yes, our pathologists interpret biopsies, Pap tests, non-gyn cytology and other specimens that come from over 225 private physicians' offices in 17 different cities in the Mid-Willamette Valley Region of Oregon.

We can process and interpret Pap tests from Sure Path or Thin Prep vials as well as conventional slides.
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What services do you offer?

• Tissue processing and interpretation
Surgical Pathology results are back within 2-3 days, STAT requests can always be accommodated for a 24-hour turnaround time if needed.

We process and interpret all types of tissue, from small skin tags to complex surgical oncology cases.

All new malignant biopsies (except skin squamous cell and skin basal cell carcinomas) are verified by at least two pathologists in house. Challenging cases are diagnosed by several pathologists in a daily slide review conference.

Archived tissue is available for testing using emerging technologies.
• Pap, HPV, CT, NG tests -  out of the Sure Path or Thin Prep vials
Cytopathology
Pap results are back within 4 days. If you need results sooner, a STAT note on the request will ensure faster results. Abnormal results may take a day or two longer.

We offer 4 tests out of the Sure Path or Thin Prep vials: Pap, HPV, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.

We offer customized monthly statistical Pap results reports.

• Conventional Pap slide processing and interpretation
• Body fluids and other cytology specimen processing and interpretation
• Bone marrow biopsy and aspiration – perform procedure, processing and interpretation
• Fine needle aspiration, perform procedure, processing and interpretation
• Flow Cytometry Interpretation
• Special stains – Histochemistry and Immunohistochemistry
• Breast Cancer Prognostic Tests
• Protein Electrophoresis and CSF Oligoclonal Banding Interpretation
• Peripheral Blood Smear Reviews
• Transfusion Reaction Reviews
• We also utilize outside labs to send out tests for cytogenetics for bone marrow and blood specimens

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Which hospitals do you staff?
We are contracted to provide Laboratory Medical Direction, perform frozen section reviews and interpret specimens for procedures performed at the following hospitals:

  • Salem Hospital in Salem, Oregon
  • Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville, Oregon
  • Silverton Hospital in Silverton, Oregon
  • Santiam Memorial Hospital in Stayton, Oregon
  • West Valley Hospital in Dallas, Oregon
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What services do you provide at those hospitals?
As the Laboratory Medical Directors, we help medical staff providers interpret test results and recommend additional testing. We are physically present during surgeries to perform frozen section reviews. We also approve test protocols, monitor the blood banking service, and perform fine needle aspirates and bone marrow biopsies and aspirates as needed.
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Are your Pathologists board certified?
Yes, all of our Pathologists are dual board certified in Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology. In addition, we have Pathologists who have specialty training and certification in cytopathology and hematopathology. Pathologists are considered Board Certified by passing an examination from the American Board of Pathology.

We also have established relationships with outside consulting pathologists if we need a 2nd opinion in pathology specialties.
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How do I prepare specimens?
Please call us at any time if you have a question about how to prepare a specimen. We can be reached at (503) 561-5350.

Submission of Tissue
Submission of Tissue for Intraoperative Consultation
Lymph Node Protocol
Sentinel Lymph Node Protocol
Submission of Tissue for Cytogenetics

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How do I get my specimens to you?
We have courier pick up services available to obtain specimens directly from your office.

Our couriers regularly travel to McMinnville, Silverton, Stayton, Woodburn, Keizer, Newberg and the greater Salem area. We would be happy to add your office to our schedule.

Please call Michelle Cheney, Director of Outreach Services, at (503) 561-2228 to add your office to our route.
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What types of tests do you send to outside labs?
The most common send out tests are cytogenetic tests for bone marrow and blood specimens. Referring physicians may order the tests or pathologists may order the tests. We are sensitive to cost concerns, and only order the most clinically relevant tests available.

If you have any questions about the need for additional tests, please call us at (503) 561-5350.
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How do I get my results?
Results can be returned in a variety of ways, by fax, courier, mail or through your electronic medical record (EMR). You or your staff may also call our office and we will send you this report, (503) 561-5350.

We currently have the following EMR interfaces in use: MVIPA Next Gen (under the Salem Hospital tab), Orchard Harvest LIS, Clinician MD, Practice One and GE Centricity.

Please contact Michelle Cheney at (503) 561-2228, to start a project request if you would like us to interface with your EMR.
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What is your turnaround time for results?
Most small biopsies are signed out in 1-2 working days, occasionally a little longer for more complex cases or if additional tests and stains are ordered.

Pap results are back within 4 working days, abnormal results may take longer.
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How do I get results faster than normal turnaround time?
STAT requests can be accommodated by checking the ERO box on the requisitions. ERO stands for "early read out" and results are usually available the day after the procedure. Please limit these requests to instances where patient care treatment plans depend on fast results.

STAT results needed on Saturdays – these can be accommodated in some circumstances. On Saturday mornings, we interpret select ERO cases that come in on Fridays.

If you require a result on Saturday, please indicate that on the requisition by checking the ERO box and writing "Saturday ERO" along with the phone number and name that the results should be called back to. You can list a specific provider to contact with the results, or you can list a call group, for example, "On call Physician for XYZ Clinic."
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Do you have a quality assurance program?
We have a comprehensive quality assurance program. For a copy, please email your request to our office manager, Michelle Cheney.
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How do I order a 2nd opinion?
Part of our commitment to establishing an accurate diagnosis is that every new cancer case, except skin squamous cell and skin basal cell carcinomas, is reviewed by at least 2 pathologists in our group.

Our specialized training allows us to provide diagnoses on all but the most complex and difficult cases. In these instances, we occasionally seek the opinion of an outside consulting pathologist by shipping the specimen via overnight mail to them.

Patients and referring providers can request a 2nd opinion and we will send the slides and the report to another pathology office via overnight mail. There will be a charge from the consulting pathologist for this service, usually $250 - $500, more if additional tests are ordered and the patient is responsible for this bill. Please fax a request for 2nd opinion to (503) 561-4781.
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Can patients have their specimens back?
We are not able to return specimens because the chemicals used to process specimens can be unsafe if not handled properly.
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Do you provide direct patient care?
Yes, we perform bone marrow biopsy and aspiration and fine needle aspiration for patients when ordered by a medical provider.

To Schedule a Bone Marrow Biopsy or Fine Needle Aspirate, please call (503) 561-5350 to schedule.

These procedures do not require a 1-hour notice phone call.

Click here for patient education brochure for:

Fine Needle Aspirate

Bone Marrow Aspirate and Biopsy

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Do you have a Fine Needle Aspirate Clinic?
Yes, for all palpable masses, our specialty trained Pathologists can perform a fine needle aspirate (FNA). The outpatient FNA clinic is located on the first floor of the COM building on the Salem Hospital campus, Building C, 875 Oak St. SE, Salem. Please call us to schedule at (503) 561-5350.

Advantages include:

  • The Pathologist can determine immediately if enough cells were collected to review, which avoids a second visit to repeat the procedure
  • Rapid results, usually the ordering physician receives preliminary results the same day
  • The procedure is safe and minimally invasive
  • FNA is accurate
  • The process is convenient, it takes about 30 minutes
  • Normal activity can resume immediately
  • FNA is cost effective

Click here for an FNA patient education brochure with a map.
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Do you have informational resources for providers and patients?
Yes, please click here for a list of websites that contain a variety of information.
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