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July 8, 1998

Accuracy of Physicians' Office Laboratory Results

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(2):129-132. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-2-jac80010

To the Editor.—As members of the California Medical Association's (CMA's) Work Group on CLIA and as practicing physicians, we are concerned that Hurst and colleagues1 have drawn stronger conclusions from their study than their methods and data can support. We congratulate California's Health Department (CHD) for pulling together a preliminary study using only limited resources, but we worry that the study's title and conclusions may unnecessarily alarm patients and inappropriately undermine confidence in California's physician office laboratories (POLs). While many of our concerns are aptly identified in the accompanying Editorial by Dr Bachner,2 particularly his points that PT should never be used as a complete surrogate for quality and his reminder that quick, accessible laboratory results contribute to good patient care, we believe the article by Hurst et al raises additional issues.

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