The American Clinical Laboratory Association said this week it is “deeply concerned” about two types of cuts in a proposed Medicare payment regulation to be published next week in the Federal Register.
“First, absent any discussion with clinical laboratories, patients, and other stakeholders, CMS proposes to identify codes and propose revised payments in the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule due to ‘technological changes,’” the lobby said in a July 9 news release. “This provision was unexpected in the proposed rule, since CMS has maintained until now that once payment for a test under the [fee schedule] is established, it does not change,” the association said.
The group also said that the proposal would “severely reduce payments for pathology codes when services are provided by independent laboratories. These cuts to payments — 25 percent in the aggregate according to the proposed rule — come on the heels of a series of devastating cuts already experienced by clinical laboratories” last year, the association said. Further reductions “threaten their ability to maintain access to high quality care for Medicare patients,” the ACLA said.
The 606-page proposal, which also includes the physician fee schedule, went on display in the Federal Register on July 8. It is scheduled to be published July 19.
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