WASHINGTON, D.C. – As ACLA reviews the new data reporting guidance released today by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), ACLA President Julie Khani released the following statement:
“Information is power. This simple truth drives our mission and purpose as clinical laboratories, and it’s why, since the start of this public health emergency, ACLA members have made every effort to report the information that is provided by the ordering clinician with each test order as quickly as possible, while navigating multiple, overlapping data requests at different levels of government.
ACLA recognizes how vital having this data is, particularly to help address the persistent health disparities across the communities we serve. Public health officials need clear, reliable data points to address the effects of this devastating virus effectively and protect our most vulnerable communities, and we are hopeful that the actions announced today with give clarity to providers about what information needs to be collected at the point of care.
Over the last several months, ACLA members have faced obstacles tracking down missing information not reported by the provider when a specimen is collected. That’s why we’ve been engaged with providers, the CDC, public health agencies and others since the beginning of this public health emergency to ensure we are working collaboratively to address these problems. Clinical laboratories do not typically interact directly with the patient, and they are not always able to collect information that is missing from a test order.
Fixing the current patchwork reporting system will require strong federal coordination and leadership. ACLA is committed to helping HHS gather as much data as possible to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic effectively.”
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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 295,000 people directly, and generates over 117,000 additional jobs in supplier industries. Clinical laboratories are at the forefront of personalized medicine, driving diagnostic innovation and contributing more than $106 billion to the nation’s economy.