Washington, D.C. — Following a favorable decision on a jurisdictional question issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) has filed a motion for summary judgment before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the flawed implementation of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) in the final rule promulgated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). ACLA’s motion asks the District Court to strike down HHS’s final rule as unreasonable and contrary to PAMA’s requirements.
ACLA v. Azar returns to the District Court after the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of ACLA and remanded the case in late July for the District Court to rule on the merits of ACLA’s challenge. To view the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals, click here.
ACLA’s motion argues that HHS ignored congressional intent and instituted a flawed data collection process in advance of setting rates under PAMA, failing to protect access to laboratory services for Medicare beneficiaries.
The lingering consequences of PAMA’s flawed implementation are severe. As ACLA notes in the motion, “Because the data-collection parameters imposed by the final rule have resulted in the Secretary establishing payment rates that are far below private-sector rates, some laboratories face a serious threat of being forced out of business, others are being forced to scale back essential services, and patients are being deprived of the services they need.”
“We appreciate the District Court’s review of the flawed implementation of PAMA, and the resulting harm to laboratories and the patients they serve,” ACLA President Julie Khani said. “While we continue our advocacy in the courts, it’s even more critical that Congressional leaders advance bipartisan reform and pass the Laboratory Access for Beneficiaries Act, which would delay data reporting for 2020 and provide the necessary time to address the flaws in PAMA that undermine senior’s care.”