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Clin Chem. 1995 Feb;41(2):271-4.

Role of a central laboratory in implementing national cholesterol education panel guidelines in rural practices: model system for managed care.

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  • 1Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, Cooperstown, NY 13326-1394.


We describe the use of a central laboratory to identify patients who may be candidates for a hypercholesterolemia treatment program and to direct their referral into this program. The laboratory, providing service for 16 medical practices in a rural area of upstate New York, served as the entry point to the treatment program for those patients with serum cholesterol > or = 5.18 mmol/L. This treatment program, designed to follow the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel Guidelines, was provided by the lipid referral center staff, including a registered dietitian and a lipid specialist. After introduction of this program, 52% of eligible patients received nutritional counseling for hypercholesterolemia, compared with only 29% in usual care settings. This program represents an enhanced role for laboratories in the implementation of treatment protocols typical of those adopted by managed care networks.

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