Clinical Labs Support Congressional Funding To Ensure Robust Testing Infrastructure
Federal Funding Is Needed To Ensure Laboratories Can Scale High Throughput Testing For COVID-19
Washington, D.C. – The American Clinical Laboratory Association is encouraged by reports from Congressional leaders and the Administration regarding $25 billion in funding for COVID-19 testing. Moving forward, it is critical that any funding includes robust support for commercial laboratories performing and expanding COVID-19 testing, including high throughput tests that are required to achieve national scale. To expedite funding for expansion as quickly as possible, it’s recommended that federal funding route through HHS as opposed to individual states.
Improving testing capacity is one of the most critical steps that Congress and the Administration can take to protect Americans and restart the U.S. economy. Nearly every public health expert and economist agrees that a national testing infrastructure that supports high throughput testing must be in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Yet, to date, no dedicated funding for laboratories has been made available to provide and increase nationwide COVID-19 testing that would assist in decisions to reopen the economy and allow Americans to return to work.
As policymakers work to provide funding for COVID-19 testing, it’s critically important that there is robust financial support for:
- Expanded access to high throughput, accurate and reliable testing and supplies, including swabs, personal protective equipment, reagents, testing kits, etc.;
- Equipment acquisition, including IT software, hardware and cybersecurity protection, to support nationwide testing capacity;
Increased employee training and staffing;
- Full cost associated with serology testing as well as uncompensated and undercompensated care; and
- Robust coordination with state health agencies and federal authorities.
We appreciate the continued work of Congressional leaders in both the Senate and House who have released detailed plans in support of an expanded testing infrastructure. Congress must take immediate action to designate the funding necessary to ensure that all Americans have access to the high throughput, accurate and reliable testing that is needed.
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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.