ACLA Statement on Final 2019 Medicare Payment Policies

Final rule takes preliminary steps to correct flawed data collection process; urgent Congressional action needed to protect millions of seniors from continued cuts to essential Medicare lab services 

 Washington, D.C. – Following the release of final Medicare payment policies, Julie Khani, President of the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) issued the following statement regarding new policy changes related to implementation of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA):

“We appreciate the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) making changes in the final rule to increase representation of hospital outreach laboratories in the next round of data collection and reporting. This initial step recognizes the flaws in the agency’s approach to implementing PAMA and represents a starting point in advancing a more sustainable, competitive market for millions of seniors who depend on clinical diagnostics for their health.

“At the same time, more needs to be done to protect seniors, including the most vulnerable beneficiaries, from significant disruption to their Medicare lab benefits. Unfortunately, CMS still has not implemented PAMA as Congress required, and legislative action remains necessary to mitigate the severe damage to laboratories and their patients caused by the flawed implementation of PAMA.

“Last month, ACLA appealed its lawsuit against the agency – ACLA v. Azar – for failing to comply with Congessional intent and unlawfully instituting a flawed data collection process in the transition to a market-based payment system. Yet seniors cannot wait for the Courts to take action. It’s incumbent on Congressional leaders to step in and protect millions of seniors.”

For more on the impact of PAMA, click here.

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ACLA is a not-for-profit association representing the nation’s leading clinical and anatomic pathology laboratories, including national, regional, specialty, hospital, ESRD 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.

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