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July 24, 2019

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LAB Act Would Correct Diagnostics Reimbursement Cuts

A bipartisan group in the House of Representatives has introduced the Laboratory Access for Beneficiaries (LAB) Act, an important first step in correcting steep cuts to Medicare reimbursement for infectious diseases (ID) diagnostics. Please click here to ask your representatives to co-sponsor legislation that would protect access to diagnostic tests for Medicare beneficiaries in the face of ongoing reimbursement cuts to the laboratories that provide them.

These cuts, which in many cases exceed 30%, do not reflect market-based payments as intended by Congress under the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA). IDSA has long been concerned that continued reimbursement cuts for ID diagnostic tests caused by faulty PAMA implementation ultimately will harm patient care, public health and laboratory efficiency.

The LAB Act delays the upcoming data reporting period and requires the National Academy of Medicine to provide recommendations to Congress on less burdensome data collection methods and representative reimbursement rate calculations for diagnostic tests. If passed, it will help alleviate the steep year-over-year cuts to clinical ID diagnostics and address the flawed data collection process that continues to erode Medicare lab benefits.

For additional information, see IDSA’s letter of support for the LAB Act, emphasizing the need for appropriate diagnostic reimbursement and devastating impacts of PAMA. IDSA will continue working with Congress, federal agencies, and the laboratory community to protect diagnostic innovation and patient access to care.

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