Seven Senate Finance Committee Members Express Concerns About PAMA’s CLFS Cuts for 2018

On December 22, 2017, a bipartisan group of seven members of the U.S. Senate’s powerful Finance Committee forwarded a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma expressing concern “with the quality of the data currently available at CMS (to set the 2018 CLFS rates), and the effect these decreased rates may have on Medicare beneficiaries’ access to these (clinical laboratory) services.”

The Senators posed a series of questions to Administrator Verma about the data reporting process used by CMS; the methodology used by CMS to determine the weighted medians for each test code; and the “participation simulations” used by CMS to justify excluding data from over 99% of CLIA certified laboratories, including virtually all hospital outreach laboratories.

A copy of the Senators’ December 22, 2017, letter can be viewed here.

The seven Senate Finance Committee members who signed the letter are:

  • Michael Bennet (D-CO)
  • Sherrod Brown (D-OH)*
  • Richard Burr (R-NC)*
  • Mike Crapo (R-ID)
  • Robert Menendez (D-NJ)*
  • Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Pat Roberts (R-KS)*

* Denotes member of the Senate Finance Committee’s Health Subcommittee.