• ProficiencyTesting

    FAQ on Closure of the AAFP Proficiency Testing Program

    The AAFP has made the difficult decision to close the AAFP proficiency testing program at the end of 2022. To help support your lab as you plan for 2023, we’re offering a smooth transition to a new PT provider. Here’s what you need to know:

    Why is AAFP Proficiency Testing (PT) closing?
    Since AAFP-PT’s launch decades ago, family physicians have increasingly shifted from owning their own practices—where they could provide practice-based laboratory services—to being employed by larger organizations. Together with ongoing health care consolidation, this change means practice-based lab testing has largely moved from physician practice settings to other sites, and proficiency testing is now a meaningful benefit to fewer AAFP members than in the past.

    What should I do now?
    Your current enrollment with AAFP will continue unchanged through the end of the year. If you plan to continue lab testing after that, you’ll need to find another CMS/CLIA-approved PT provider and enroll soon for next year. The AAFP has partnered with WSLH Proficiency Testing to offer you a smooth transition, but you must opt in to allow us to share your enrollment information with WSLH PT.

    Why did the AAFP choose to partner with WSLH PT?
    The AAFP took numerous factors into account when considering a partnership with another PT service. The most important reasons we chose to partner with WSLH PT are their stability and their ability to provide sizable peer groups. WSLH PT has been in the PT business for more than 50 years, and more than 4,000 labs use their service. This number of labs provides substantial peer groups, which equate to effective comparison groups.

    In addition, WSLH PT uses the same online data entry system used by PT Central, so it will have a familiar look and feel. WSLH PT is committed to providing the robust customer service and technical support you are used to receiving from AAFP-PT. Lastly, their price point is much more competitive than that of some PT providers. This fact sheet details some of the benefits WSLH PT has to offer.

    What other PT provider options do I have?
    You can download a list of CMS/CLIA-approved PT providers from the CMS website.

    By what date do I need to enroll with a new provider?
    All PT providers will be ordering samples for next year by September. So, to ensure the provider you choose will have enough specimens for your lab, we recommend you enroll before September 1.

    Do I need to notify CMS that I am switching PT services?
    No, you do not need to notify CMS/CLIA that you have changed your PT provider. By enrolling in a CMS/CLIA-approved program for 2023, you’ll maintain compliance. However, some accrediting agencies, such as COLA or The Joint Commission, should be notified. Labs should reach out to those organizations for guidance.

    Will I receive the same modules from my new provider?
    Each PT provider has their own sample configuration and sample identification. Our hope is that by partnering with WSLH PT, we can eliminate the guesswork and streamline the transition for you.

    Are WSLH PT prices comparable to those AAFP-PT charges?
    Review a price comparison between AAFP-PT’s top 30 testing modules for 2022 and WSLH PT’s corresponding modules.

    Due to rising material costs across the industry, 2023 module prices at WSLH PT may be higher than the 2022 prices noted in the comparison table. WSLH PT is committed to working diligently to keep the increases as minimal as possible.

    Will I receive the same discount I do now?
    When you opt in to share your lab account data with WSLH PT, the discount is also shared. If your lab was eligible for a group discount from AAFP, this information will be shared. WSLH has their own discount structure and will apply the best discount available.

    How do I opt in to have WSLH contact me about transitioning my account?
    Opting in is easy. Simply send an email to pt@aafp.org or use the “Contact Us” link in PT Central. Include your lab name and AAFP-PT Login/ID number, along with the statement: “I would like to opt in with WSLH PT.” You must contact AAFP-PT to allow us to share your current enrollment information with WSLH PT. This is for your security.

    Please note: Contacting WSLH PT directly will not facilitate a smooth transfer of data or any special offers they may provide for AAFP-PT labs that opt in.

    What does it mean to opt in?
    When you opt in, you are agreeing to have your lab account information shared with WSLH PT so they have the information needed to create an account and enrollment quote that will mirror your lab account with AAFP-PT.

    How long will it take to receive my quote after I opt in?
    Due to a high level of interest in transitioning to WSLH PT, it may take up to four weeks from the time you send an opt-in request to when you receive your personalized quote. AAFP-PT must first collect and package your lab’s data before providing it to WSLH PT for input into their system. We are working as quickly as possible to process these requests. We appreciate your patience and thank you for the opportunity to assist you.

    Please note that once you opt in, you should receive confirmation that your request was received. If you have not received this confirmation or have questions for WSLH PT, you may contact them by email: ptservice@slh.wisc.edu or by phone: 800-462-5261, ext. 0.

    If I opt in, does that mean I am committed to enrolling with WSLH PT?
    No. When you opt in, your account information (e.g., demographic data, CLIA number, medical director, analytes, and methods) will be sent to WSLH PT. WSLH PT will create a customer account in their ordering system. The test menu (analytes) you have with AAFP-PT will be matched with the most appropriate modules in their test menu. WSLH PT will create an enrollment quote that will be emailed to the primary email address the AAFP shared with them, along with instructions to complete the enrollment process with WSLH PT. You will need to review and accept the quote document before the WSLH PT account and order can be processed and finalized.

    At that point, your lab will be designated a new customer of WSLH PT and will receive its sales order confirmation and customized shipping calendar. In late December, new WSLH PT participants will start to receive a series of welcome emails.

    After you opt in, questions about WSLH PT products, services, and processes should be directed to ptservice@slh.wisc.edu

    How long can I access the AAFP’s PT Central portal after the program ends in December 2022?
    You will have access to PT Central until the end of 2024. Access to evaluation reports beyond 2024 will be provided by the AAFP Member Resource Center by sending an email to aafp@aafp.org or calling (800) 274-2237. Response time will be longer, so we recommend taking the time now to save copies of your evaluation reports for the past three years.

    How do I save copies of my evaluation reports?
    The instructions for saving copies of your evaluation reports are shown here. We recommend you download the past three years of evaluation reports and save them to your computer.

    What happens to continuing education (CE) credits earned this year?
    For education activities completed by the end of 2022, no changes will be seen. As you complete each assessment, you will continue to receive the email with your completion certificate. We recommend you print each certificate for your records. Access to the education activities will not be available after December 31, 2022.

    What is the best way to connect with AAFP-PT staff?
    Sending an email to pt@aafp.org is still the best way to contact AAFP-PT. We strive to reply to all email by the end of the day or first thing the next business day. You also can reach us at (800) 274-7911. Our customer service phone hours are 10 a.m.−3:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday. Providing quality, friendly technical and customer service support is always important to us. Our phone and email service lines will remain open through March 15, 2023.