(Washington, D.C.) – The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) today submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the 2019 Medicare Program Proposed Rule, applauding the agency on its decision to remove first tier, downstream, related entities (FDRs), including laboratories, from Medicare Advantage (MA) compliance training requirements that are inapplicable, ineffective and burdensome.
“ACLA appreciates CMS’ proposal to address this issue, specifically acknowledging that the agency’s compliance training requirements under MA were not germane for some entities,” said Julie Khani, president of ACLA. “ACLA’s membership includes laboratories that have been subject to mandatory MA training that has been costly and duplicative of other training.”
ACLA comments to CMS Administrator Seema Verma on the Proposed Rule – Medicare Program; Contract Year 2019 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost Plan, Medicare Fee-for-Service, the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs, and the PACE Program (“2019 Medicare Proposed Rule”) reiterate ACLA’s communication with the agency over the course of several years and note:
“ACLA members are committed to fostering a culture of compliance and to providing efficient and effective compliance training to their employees at least annually. As such, ACLA appreciates that CMS recognizes that implementation of the mandatory CMS-developed training, and the requirement that it be used by Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAO), has not achieved its intended goals or promoted effective administration of the MA program. ACLA strongly supports CMS’s proposal to delete the provisions from the Part C and D regulations that require the use of the CMS-developed training. ACLA also concurs that an MAO can ensure compliance with program requirements through routine monitoring and implementing corrective action when non-compliance is identified. As CMS acknowledged in the Proposed 2019 Medicare Rule, given the current MA climate and sophistication of the industry, the CMS training requirement is not the driver of performance improvements or FDR compliance with key CMS requirements. ACLA agrees and applauds CMS for proposing to remove the reference to FDRs in the compliance training requirements codified at §§ 422.503(b)(4)(vi)(C) and 423.504(b)(4)(vi)(C). Such a solution preserves the integrity and the spirit of MA compliance training while alleviating the unnecessary burden borne by FDRs under the current requirements.”
“The clinical lab community is committed to a culture of compliance and is supportive of training that fulfills statutory requirements and preserves the integrity of MA compliance training, but is not duplicative or irrelevant,” said Khani. “We strongly support finalizing the revisions in the 2019 Proposed Medicare Rule that address our concerns and make way for a meaningful yet less burdensome compliance training solution.”
To view ACLA’s comments in their entirety, click here.
# # #
ACLA is a not-for-profit association representing the nation’s leading clinical and anatomic pathology laboratories, including national, regional, specialty, ESRD, hospital and nursing home laboratories. The clinical laboratory industry employs nearly 277,000 people directly and generates over 115,000 additional jobs in supplier industries. Clinical laboratories are at the forefront of personalized medicine, driving diagnostic innovation and contributing more than $100 billion to the nation’s economy.