ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., Dec. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- BioReference Laboratories, Inc., one of the nation's largest, full-service clinical diagnostic laboratories, applauds the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA)'s decision to advocate for Medicare beneficiaries and laboratories alike by filing suit against the Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ACLA's legal action is calling for CMS to rescind the current Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) provisions and revise the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) ahead of its January 1, 2018 implementation to ensure that access to critical diagnostic tests for the nation's most vulnerable patients remains uninterrupted.
"If PAMA is implemented on January 1, access to critical lab testing may become severely limited for many patients," said Gregory S. Henderson, MD, Ph.D., President of BioReference Laboratories. "ACLA is one of many organizations taking a stand, further validating that PAMA's fee schedule and mandate is a public health issue. Legislative and policy change is needed to correct CMS's inaccurate data collection process that set the foundation for how our nation's laboratories will be paid until 2023."
In 2014, Congress enacted PAMA as a market-based approach to reduce spending and maintain access to quality testing by changing how labs are reimbursed for serving Medicare patients. Although CMS was tasked with collecting data that was supposed to reflect the entire market, rather than using data from the approximately 246,000 laboratories in the country, the agency only collected data from large, commercial laboratories that make up less than one percent of the nation's laboratories. CMS prohibited virtually all hospital labs from reporting insurance company reimbursement rates, although they are a significant part of the provider market. The severe underpricing that resulted will endanger the viability of labs that serve nursing homes, rural communities, critical access hospitals, and other at-risk populations.
About BioReference Laboratories, Inc.
BioReference Laboratories is one of the largest full-service diagnostic laboratories in the world, providing clinical testing services to physician offices, clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities and employers while also advancing drug discovery and development with disease foundations, academic and pharmaceutical partners. BioReference's comprehensive testing capabilities and expertise spans molecular diagnostics, anatomical pathology, women's health, oncology and rare disease genetics. For more information, visit www.bioreference.com.
SOURCE BioReference Laboratories, Inc.