Senators Hatch (R-UT) and Wyden (D-OR) Urge CMS to Delay PAMA Reporting System

Yesterday the Senate Finance Committee leadership - Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Minority Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) - forwarded a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) specifically asking that CMS extend the timeline for implementing PAMA's laboratory payment reporting system. The January 6, 2016, Hatch/Wyden letter also requests that CMS develop a different methodology for determining which laboratories must report their data, saying that any methodology must represent the full market, including certain hospital laboratories.

The Hatch/Wyden letter came as a result of NILA's aggressive advocacy efforts, including grassroots outreach to the Senate Finance leaders, persuading them to press CMS that the timing of the PAMA rule is impossible and CMS's proposed methodology violates the statute.

As of today, CMS has not issued an update to its proposed PAMA rule published on October 1, 2015. In the proposed rule, CMS expresses its intention to require laboratory payment data reporting between January 1, 2016, and March 31, 2016, and to publish a final rule by that time. Thus far, it is not possible for laboratories to begin reporting PAMA payment data in the absence of regulations that outline how such reporting is to be conducted. CMS should be issuing an update on the PAMA regulations very soon, and NILA will alert you when CMS makes an announcement.