Congress Passes PAMA Relief, Safeguards Seniors’ Access to Critical Lab Tests Ahead of January Deadline

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) applauds the passage of S. 610, the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act, paving the way for renewed protections for seniors accessing vital lab tests and services. Among the bill’s Medicare provisions was relief from another year of reimbursement cuts to many of the most commonly ordered clinical laboratory tests. Nearly 600 tests were scheduled to see cuts of up to 15% beginning January 1, 2022. Once signed into law, these cuts and reporting requirements will be delayed one full year.

“America’s 56 million seniors can breathe a sigh of relief,” said Tom Sparkman, ACLA Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Policy. “The pandemic has had a profound impact on seniors and has made it ever more challenging for many to receive the routine care and treatment they rely on to stay healthy. We applaud Congress for taking decisive action before the new year to support clinical laboratories on the front lines and to protect the health of seniors. We look forward to continuing to work on a long-term fix to both the payment cuts and burdensome reporting.”

Earlier this month, nearly 30 leading health organizations representing patients, seniors, laboratories and diagnostic manufacturers called on Congress to take immediate action to address the pending harm to seniors’ access to lab tests and services as a result of the flawed implementation of the 2014 Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA).


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.

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