ACLA Commends the 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill
The 2023 Omnibus provides critical relief for labs and patients
Washington, D.C. – The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) commends inclusion in the 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill of critically needed relief from Medicare payment cuts to clinical laboratory services. The bill would provide a one-year reprieve from Medicare cuts of up to 15 percent for over 800 laboratory services that would have gone into effect January 2023. Further, ACLA appreciates the inclusion of provisions that would mitigate Medicare payment cuts to physician services over the next two years, lift the 4 percent statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) payment cuts to Medicare in 2023, and extend, until 2025, Medicare coverage for telehealth services. ACLA urges swift passage of the Omnibus bill.
“ACLA commends Congress for prioritizing a reprieve from deep Medicare laboratory payment cuts and data reporting, acknowledging that these repeated cuts are an unsustainable risk for patient access to quality clinical laboratory services, undermining innovation in the next generation of diagnostics and the nation’s clinical laboratory infrastructure,” stated ACLA President, Susan Van Meter. “ACLA is grateful to Senators Sherrod Brown and Richard Burr, and Representatives Bill Pascrell, Scott Peters, Richard Hudson, Gus Bilirakis, and Kurt Schrader, the bipartisan champions of the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA), who ensured temporary relief from cuts and reporting was included in the Omnibus. We look forward to working with returning SALSA champions to carry forward the strong support for SALSA this year to advance a long-term PAMA fix in 2023.”
Notably excluded from the Omnibus is the Verifying Accurate Leading-Edge IVCT Development Act of 2021 (the VALID Act), which would have established a regulatory framework specifically for diagnostics. Throughout this Congress, ACLA has constructively engaged with the VALID Act sponsors, key congressional leaders, FDA, patient groups, and other stakeholders. Our engagement was focused on advancing improvements to the bill to recognize the critical role that clinical laboratories perform in supporting public health and to foster innovation in diagnostics while maintaining access to critical testing services that physicians and patients rely on every day. ACLA maintains that clarity and certainty on the regulatory requirements for clinical laboratories is needed and only through legislation to create a diagnostics-specific framework should new regulation of laboratory developed tests move forward.
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.