LAB Act Passes the House

BREAKING NEWS: In a victory for clinical laboratories, the House of Representatives just passed the LAB Act! The legislation gathered a total of 80 cosponsors, a strong indication that the House supports addressing the flawed implementation of PAMA.

Yesterday evening, Congress unveiled a much anticipated agreement on Fiscal Year 2020 spending levels. This massive two-part bill is a “must pass” piece of legislation to fund the government and avoid a shutdown on December 20, 2019. As such, the bill became a vehicle for moving other pieces of legislation. Congress attached the LAB Act (Section 105, page 1428) to the spending bill to “ride” through the voting process as it becomes a law. 

The version included in the year-end spending bill delays PAMA's next data reporting period until January 1, 2021, and directs MedPAC to conduct a study to review the methodology CMS implemented to collect private payor rates. While the LAB Act does not prevent the next round of cuts to the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule that go into effect on January 1, 2020, this is a very positive step in the overall process to address the flawed implementation of PAMA. 

The House vote on the bill today sets up a vote later this week in the Senate. We anticipate the Senate will pass the bill and forward it to the President, who has signaled he will sign the bill into law.   

NILA will continue to keep you updated throughout this process.