Proposed Medicare Cuts to Clinical Lab Services May Cause Lab Closures, Job Losses, and Reduce Patient Access
(Washington, D.C.) – The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) announced a new analysis today that shows clinical laboratories contribute $100 billion in overall economic output to the US economy. ACLA cautioned that proposed Medicare cuts to lab tests by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could trigger job losses, lab closures, and threaten beneficiary access to critical lab services.
“The new economic analysis shows the clinical laboratory sector is a strong industry that delivers jobs, economic growth, and patient care nationwide,” said Julie Khani, president of ACLA. “The analysis further shows that the clinical laboratory industry operates in all types of communities, including those that are medically underserved and in rural areas. The clinical laboratory industry is well-suited to continue to serve these communities’ patients, including Medicare beneficiaries and those whom lack mobility due to poor health or other circumstances.”
“Unfortunately, it is this broad patient access to lab services that is now threatened by ill-advised proposed payment rate policies put forth by CMS. These proposed rates will devastate many of our members and create severe disruptions in access to laboratory services, particularly for the most vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries.”
The Medicare cuts, proposed as part of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA), will not only serve as a detriment to patients but threaten the very jobs the clinical lab industry provides.
Khani emphasized, “This is the highest priority for ACLA. We will pursue all options to ensure that PAMA is implemented in accordance with congressional intent and in a manner that protects Medicare beneficiary access to a broad range of providers for laboratory services.”
The Economic Impact of Clinical Laboratories Study, sponsored by ACLA, is a first-time analysis of the economic contributions of the clinical laboratory industry for the country, states, and congressional districts. For the United States alone, the clinical laboratory industry:
An estimated 37,000 representative laboratories were included in The Economic Impact of Clinical Laboratories Study. The analysis measures the combined economic impact of medical testing laboratories including those operated by independent firms, hospitals, physician offices, in- and outpatient medical facilities, pharmacies and various other medical sites that are defined as complex testing facilities under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) as maintained by CMS.
“Clinical laboratory innovation is responsible for ushering in an era of personalized medicine that has transformed health care and led to more precise diagnoses and treatments,” said Khani. “In communities across America, clinical laboratories make vital contributions to our economy and the lives of patients every day.”
To view the entire report, click here.
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ACLA, a not-for-profit association representing the nation’s leading national, regional and esoteric clinical laboratories on key issues of common concern, including federal and state government reimbursement and regulatory policies. Clinical laboratories are at the forefront of personalized medicine, driving diagnostic innovation and contributing more than $100 billion to the nation’s economy.