Repeated Medicare Cuts Could Weaken Laboratory Infrastructure, Industry Warns
Washington, D.C. – The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA), representing the nation’s leading clinical laboratories, today released a new report detailing the contributions of clinical laboratories to the job market and the overall economy in the United States, across all 50 states.
The analysis shows clinical laboratories produce more than 652,000 jobs nationwide, bringing $48.8 billion per year in wages to American workers. The industry pays more than $11.3 billion annually in local, state, and federal taxes.
But ACLA is warning that repeated rounds of Medicare payment cuts could weaken the nation’s clinical laboratory infrastructure, undermine the industry’s economic impact, and make it more difficult to maintain the strong laboratory workforce that is essential to patient and public health. The industry group is urging Congress to set Medicare laboratory reimbursement on a sustainable path by enacting the bi-partisan Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA) this year before a fourth round of cuts takes effect in January.
“The robust contributions of laboratories and laboratory employees is an additive boon for the economy, on top of the laboratories’ core, clinical mission of delivering accurate and reliable clinical laboratory services to patients and health care providers across the country,” said Susan Van Meter, ACLA President. “It is essential that Congress act to strengthen and preserve clinical laboratories, an essential part of our nation’s critical infrastructure.”
ACLA is leading a campaign called Stop Lab Cuts to educate policymakers about the potential harms from excessive and repeated Medicare cuts resulting from the 2014 Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) and to encourage Congressional enactment of essential reforms proposed by SALSA. The bill (H.R. 8188/S. 4449) has bipartisan support in Congress and among leading groups that represent providers, hospitals, and patients.
The analysis, sponsored by ACLA and conducted by John Dunham & Associates, used public data and ACLA member data to draw its conclusions, examining records from more than 55,000 laboratories nationwide.
To explore the findings of this year’s economic report, click here.