Fee Sticker FAQ's

  What is a fee sticker?

Effective July 1, 2007, the MDH Specimen Handling Fee increased from $15.00 to $25.00. The Specimen Handling Fee was instituted by the legislature in 1979 to recover some of the costs associated with tests done at the MDH Public Health Laboratory for the purpose of primary patient management. This year, the legislature changed the handling fee for the first time in 28 years, raising it from $15.00 to $25.00. This legislation is described in Minnesota Statute 144.123.

This fee is intended to help cover overhead costs associated with specimen testing, and is collected by means of a “fee sticker”, which is purchased by healthcare providers who wish to submit specimens for primary diagnostic testing. For each specimen submitted, one of these stickers must be attached to the test requisition.


What do I do with fee stickers bought prior to July1, 2007?

  Continue to use them until your current supply runs out.


What types of tests ARE subject to this fee?

  Generally, specimens sent from non-exempt institutions for primary diagnostic testing ARE subject to the fee, but isolates sent for surveillance programs or reference testing are NOT subject to the fee.

Examples of specimens for primary diagnostic testing that DO need to be accompanied by a fee sticker (unless sending institution is fee-exempt):
Throat swab for influenza culture  
Sputum for routine mycobacterial culture
Stools for routine parasitology or enteric bacteriology
Blood smears for trypanosomiasis screening (but not confirmation)
  What types of tests ARE NOT subject to this fee?
  Isolates sent for surveillance programs or reference testing are NOT subject to the fee. A fee sticker is also NOT required for primary specimens sent to the Public Health Laboratory as part of MDH investigations or programs. Samples sent for non-commercial PCR tests are not charged a fee sticker, as these tests are considered investigational, and charging would conflict with licensing agreements.

Examples of samples that DO NOT require a fee sticker:
Isolates sent in compliance with the state's infectious disease reporting rule (MN Rule 4605-7040) such as Salmonella spp., invasive Group A Streptococcus, or Bordetella pertussis
Isolates for reference testing such as unidentified Gram negative bacillus, a possible dimorphic fungus, or a non-motile non-hemolytic Gram positive bacillus (possible anthrax)
Isolates for MDH monitoring programs, such as influenza virus or community-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Serum for confirmation of syphilis
Serum for botulism or West Nile virus testing (MDH investigates all potential cases)
Stools sent for a MDH restaurant investigation or surveillance program
Powders sent to MDH to rule out agents of biological or chemical terrorism
Spinal fluid for PCR detection of meningitis agents
  This is very confusing. Is there any rule of thumb as to the types of specimens that do not require a fee sticker?
  If MDH ASKS for or requires submission of the specimen, if the agent in question constitutes a public health threat, or if the specimen is sent for reference or PCR testing, then a fee sticker is not required.
  What institutions are considered exempt / non-exempt from the fee?
  State statute defines exempt institutions as "...any entity which receives direct or indirect financial assistance from state or federal funds administered by the department of health."

Examples of exempt institutions with State support (per State statute):
any public health department
nonprofit community clinic
venereal disease clinic
family planning clinic

"similar entity"
  Examples of non-exempt institutions with State support (per State statute):
private hospitals
private clinics
private laboratories
nonprofit hospitals or clinics without state support

Updated Sunday, 28-Nov-2010 19:56:21 CST