ACLA Launches “Stop Lab Cuts” Campaign Urging Congress to Protect Patient Access to Laboratory Services
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) has launched the Stop Lab Cuts campaign, calling on Congress to protect patient access to laboratory services by enacting the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (S. 4449/H.R. 8188) before the end of the year.
The bipartisan, bicameral legislation would reform the 2014 Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA), which has led to significant cuts to Medicare payments for routine laboratory tests that guide clinical decision-making. America needs a strong clinical laboratory infrastructure to support delivery of routine patient care and to ensure the nation is prepared to manage the next public health crisis. If enacted, the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act would set a sustainable path for patient access to laboratory services, fostering innovation in the next generation of clinical diagnostics.
“Without congressional intervention this year, laboratories across the country will face a fourth round of Medicare reimbursement cuts, which could threaten the delivery of routine care, undermine the clinical laboratory infrastructure needed to manage multiple public health challenges, and reduce investment in innovation,” said Susan Van Meter, ACLA President. “Congress has acted three times to delay these harmful reimbursement cuts, but long-term reform is needed to safeguard access to the essential tests that patients need.”
The campaign website, StopLabCuts.org, will serve as a central resource with frequent updates to include insights from patient, provider, and public health stakeholders, as well as leaders in the clinical laboratory industry. The website will also keep visitors informed on legislative activity and provide a direct opportunity to engage members of Congress on this important issue.
Absent congressional intervention, more than 800 tests will receive up to 15 percent cuts on January 1, 2023. This is on top of previous rounds of cuts between 2017 and 2022 that resulted in payment for tests used to screen and diagnose diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions to be cut by 27 percent. Some tests could see a cumulative cut of up to 38 percent. Collectively, these cuts may threaten access to laboratory services for diagnosing and treating seniors with a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, prostate and colon cancers, anemia, viral and bacterial infections, and opioid dependency, among others. Additionally, these cuts would come as clinical laboratories across the country face continued inflationary pressure on costs, labor, and supply shortages, as well as the ongoing demands of the pandemic.
The Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act was introduced in June 2022 by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Richard Burr (R-NC), along with Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Scott Peters (D-CA), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Kurt Schrader (D-OR). ACLA’s statement on the introduction of the bill is available here.
To learn more about the Stop Lab Cuts campaign, visit StopLabCuts.org.
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.