ACLA Applauds Inclusion of PAMA Relief in Year-End Medicare Package
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) today welcomed the bipartisan and bicameral agreement to safeguard seniors’ access to lifesaving clinical laboratory services in the new year. The year-end package provides relief from yet another year of cuts to many of the most commonly ordered clinical laboratory tests (cumulatively a 27.1% cut to date). Specifically, nearly 600 tests are scheduled to see up to 15% cuts beginning January 1, 2022 absent Congressional action.
“This is welcome news for seniors across the country, but our work is not yet done. We urge Members of Congress to support this measure – delaying both the payment cut and burdensome reporting – so we can ensure seniors have access to the critical testing they need to make informed health decisions,” said Tom Sparkman, ACLA Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Policy. “We’re grateful to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) for standing up for America’s seniors and for public health more broadly.”
This bipartisan agreement comes after nearly 30 leading health organizations representing patients, seniors, laboratories and diagnostic manufacturers called on Congress to take immediate action to address the pending harm to seniors’ access to lab tests and services as a result of the flawed implementation of the 2014 Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA).
The letter signatories wrote, “Without action by Congress, Medicare patients could lose access to essential laboratory services. Without ready access to lab tests, patients risk missed or delayed diagnoses, increased barriers to maintaining their health, and forgoing the opportunity to prevent even worse health outcomes or disease. In a medical age where technology is pushing health care closer to patients, the bureaucratic policies implemented through PAMA will drive care and the promise of better health further away from patients.”
The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) is the national trade association representing leading laboratories that deliver essential diagnostic health information to patients and providers. ACLA members are at the forefront of driving diagnostic innovation to meet the country’s evolving health care needs and provide vital clinical laboratory tests that identify and prevent infectious, acute and chronic disease. ACLA works to advance the next generation of health care delivery through policies that expand access to lifesaving testing services.