Senate Version (S. 3049) of the LAB Act Introduced
On December 12, Senators Brown (D-OH) and Burr (R-NC) introduced S. 3049, the Senate companion bill to H.R. 3584, the Laboratory Access for Beneficiaries (LAB) Act. The Senate version of the LAB Act is similar to the House bill in that it delays data reporting by one year and requires a study and report to make recommendations on how to reform PAMA. The only difference between the House and Senate bills is which third party will conduct the study and report. The House tasks the study to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), while the Senate bill tasks it to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPac). A draft of S. 3049 can be viewed here. The final bill and content summary will be available soon. Monitor progress of S. 3049 here.
NILA has been working with the broader laboratory community to address the flawed implementation of PAMA and passing the LAB Act is an essential part of this strategy. Last week, NILA joined over 30 organizations in sending a letter to Congress urging action on the LAB Act before the end of this year.
“The National Independent Laboratory Association (NILA) is encouraged by the continued momentum of the LAB Act and applauds the leadership of Senator Burr and Senator Brown for their introduction of this essential legislation. NILA members need relief immediately from the devastating impact of the PAMA cuts; the patients our members serve are at risk of losing access to essential laboratory tests if nothing is done to correct PAMA. The LAB Act is an important first step in reforming this flawed payment system and ensuring we continue to have a robust clinical laboratory infrastructure in this country.” Mark Birenbaum, NILA Administrator.We will continue to work to pass the LAB Act and begin to address the drastic cuts PAMA has imposed on clinical laboratories.