National Independent Laboratory Association
November 30, 2021
Contact: Erin Morton (email@example.com)
NILA, Partners ask Congress to Stop Harmful Payment Cuts to Clinical Laboratories
The National Independent Laboratory Association (NILA) and 24 organizations representing patients, health care professionals, laboratories, hospitals, health systems, and diagnostic manufacturers forwarded a letter today urging Congress to delay impending Medicare Part B payment cuts, of as much as 15 percent to some of the most commonly ordered laboratory tests, and private payment reporting requirements that are scheduled to take effect in a month, on January 1, 2022. NILA and the other organizations are asking that the delays be included in a "Continuing Resolution" bill currently being negotiated in Congress.
As our nation's community and regional laboratories continue to respond to the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic and brace for the onset of the newest variant, Omicron, they cannot afford drastic cuts to their Medicare reimbursement.
Cuts related to the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) have already weakened our nation's clinical laboratory infrastructure. The cuts set to take effect in January 2022 will severely damage the ability of laboratories to continue their COVID-19 response - especially for those laboratories that service rural and underserved communities.
As the efforts to contain COVID-19 continue, we cannot afford to let our COVID-19 testing infrastructure be harmed. Laboratories need resources to meet the increased demand for COVID-19 testing while still maintaining access to traditional laboratory tests that patients across the U.S. desperately rely on," says Mark Birenbaum, PhD, NILA's executive director.
The letter from 25 health care organizations urges Congress to include a one-year delay to the 2022 Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule cuts and private payer data reporting period that are set to begin on January 1, 2022.
NILA members work in regional and community independent clinical laboratories across the United States performing laboratory testing for physicians, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), and other health care professionals. NILA members serve a wide variety of communities and patient populations, including rural areas, underserved urban neighborhoods, mid- and small-sized cities and municipalities, congregate facilities, and critical access hospitals.