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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Joins Health Care Groups in Letter Urging Action on Clinical Lab Legislation


    Allyson Perleoni, Director, Government Relations
    For Media Inquiries

    The AAMC joined other groups in a Sept. 8 letter urging congressional leadership to enact the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA, H.R. 8188, S.4449) prior to Jan. 1, 2023. The AAMC-supported SALSA is bipartisan legislation that would update the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) to ensure that patient access to essential diagnostic tests is not hindered by drastic cuts to the CLFS.

    The letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) reminded the leaders that congress has intervened twice to avoid pending cuts to the CLFS. The cuts originate from the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA, P.L. 113-93), which reformed the CLFS, but due to unrepresentative data collection has led to the need for congressional action to avert inappropriate reductions in Medicare clinical lab payments. These cuts are scheduled to take place again on Jan. 1, 2023.

    SALSA would permanently solve this issue by setting Medicare reimbursement for lab services on a more sustainable path. It would provide the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services with new data collection authority and ensure the data collected is representative, reporting burdens are reduced, and labs and Medicare are insulated from swings in payment rates.

    “Enactment of the [SALSA] is urgently needed this year, to allow laboratories to focus on providing timely, high-quality clinical laboratory services for patients, continuing to innovate, and building the infrastructure necessary to protect the public health,” the letter concluded.