July 18, 2012
The Honorable Amy Klobuchar
United States Senate
302 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senators Klobuchar:
The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) is pleased to offer our full and strong support for S. 3391, the Taking Essential Steps for Testing Act or TEST Act. This Bill would make a needed change to existing regulation benefitting the entire medical community. The TEST Act will update statutory language of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to provide CMS much-needed discretion so that laboratories of all types, including hospital and independent laboratories, would not have their CLIA certificates revoked for the unintentional referral of proficiency testing samples. As a result of this important statutory change, laboratories will no longer be unfairly punished when a laboratory follows its usual practice for patients and unintentionally refers a proficiency test specimen to another laboratory for either a test that it does not perform or for confirmatory testing. The TEST Act will prevent the wasteful time and expense that occurs when a laboratory’s CLIA certificate is revoked, thus making it impossible for the laboratory to provide vital services to patients.
On behalf of our membership, ACLA thanks you again for demonstrating leadership in improving health care delivery by introducing legislation that helps existing government regulations to keep pace with advances in laboratory best practices.
Alan Mertz, President