Consultations & Autopsies

April 29th, 2011 by York Pathology

Consultative Services (Slides sent to an outside facility or expert)

Some pathology cases are straight forward, others are not.  While we routinely have another pathologist in our group review our cases for certain diagnoses or case type, on rare occasion, it is necessary for our pathologists to ask for an opinion from an expert in the field.  In these cases, we will make every attempt to minimize any additional charge for these expert opinions, but occasionally the patient’s insurance company may be billed for this additional opinion, depending on the nature of the referral.   When a patient is referred to another facility for a definitive procedure, that facility often will request our slides to review.  In these cases, the billing arrangement is between the outside facility, the patient, and the insurance company, etc.  The goal is always to provide the most accurate diagnosis to assure the best treatment option possible.
Second Opinions (Biopsies performed elsewhere)

York Pathology Associates will gladly review your biopsy slides and render a diagnosis as a second (or third) opinion.  Insurance may or may not pay for this service, in which case the charge will become the responsibility of the patient.
Private Autopsies

The physicians of York Pathology Associates have been performing autopsies for York, Chester and Lancaster counties for over thirty five years.  We currently perform forensic autopsies for York and Chester counties, and we perform hospital autopsies for the hospitals we are contracted with.  County autopsies are paid for by the county handling the case, while hospital autopsies are paid for by either the family or the hospital, depending on the circumstances of the death.

York Pathology Associates offers private autopsies for families of deceased who die outside of the jurisdiction of the county and outside one of our hospitals.  We accept most cases from outside counties (including North Carolina).


We also offer brain retrieval for shipment to one of several nationally recognized Brain Donor centers, which is sometimes done for deceased who have Alzheimer’s or other neurodegenerative disorders.  The cases should be set up by the family and arranged well in advance of the death.  Our fee structure for these services is outlined below. By state law, all autopsy requests must be accompanied by an autopsy permit signed by the legal next of kin. If you are interested in a private autopsy please continue reading below for additional information.


Private Autopsy:                                                      $4000
Brain retrieval for referral:                                       $1000

Private Autopsy Information for Families:

In order to obtain a private autopsy, please complete the items below.

  1. Call York Pathology Associates at 803-329-6845 in order to speak to a pathologist.  A brief discussion with a pathologist helps determine if an autopsy will be helpful in answering questions the family has surrounding the circumstances of death.
  2. The legal next of kin will need to sign a consent form authorizing the autopsy (click here for a PDF document) and a witness will also need to sign.  A member of York Pathology, a funeral home representative, or a health care worker will sign as the person obtaining permission.
  3. Fill out a credit card form (click here for a PDF document)
  4. Fill out a contact information form (click here for a PDF document)
  5. Fax the 3 above forms to 803-327-7598 (alternatively you may scan the documents and email them to the pathologist performing the autopsy).  The credit card is typically charged the day before or the morning of the autopsy.

In some instances medical records (particularly decedents with recent hospital admissions or surgical procedures) provide crucial information to help direct the autopsy examination towards specific areas of concern or uncertainty. If deemed necessary the family will be asked to help obtain these records depending on the complexity of the case.  The pathologists of York Pathology Associates do not sign the death certificate but will, with the family’s permission, share information regarding autopsy findings with coroner’s/medical examiner’s offices or other health professionals who are tasked with performing this duty.

Transporting the body to and from our facility in Rock Hill is typically performed by the funeral home the family is using, as York Pathology Associates does not offer transportations services.  This is a separately negotiated cost between the family and their funeral home and is not included in the quoted autopsy price.  Please refer your funeral home to this website and have them read the information below.


Private Autopsy Information for Funeral Homes/Transport Services:

All autopsies are performed at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  The address is 222 South Herlong Avenue.  Please try to bring the decedent in a body bag to help comply with hospital regulations.  As you pull up to the hospital, please call the general hospital number at 803-329-1234.  Ask for hospital security and they will help direct you to the morgue and get you checked in.  If you encounter any issues or are running late for the scheduled autopsy time, please call the pathologists’ office at 803-329-6845 as a delayed autopsy can affect the scheduling of subsequent autopsies as well as our duties in the hospital laboratory, and having knowledge of a delay is extremely helpful in adjusting our daily schedule.

Many funeral homes/transport services travel a significant distance to reach Rock Hill.  For routine cases we make every effort to complete the autopsy within 90 minutes of the scheduled time to help avoid multiple trips to our facility.


Comments are closed.