July 13, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught the world many invaluable lessons, including the need for affordable, reliable and accessible testing. This need remains even outside of a pandemic, to help Americans get the clinical answers they need to manage chronic illnesses, diseases and health conditions. Diagnostic tests are a critical part of America’s health infrastructure and helping people live healthier lives.
But in a recent op-ed published on RealClearPolicy, William Morice II, M.D., president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories and Matt Sause, president and CEO of Roche Diagnostics North America, explain how the well-intended Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA) puts vital diagnostic tests at risk.
PAMA includes proposed changes to the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule, which sets the rates Medicare will pay for diagnostic tests and laboratory services. These scheduled cuts have been delayed by Congress for the past two years but are set to take effect early next year.
“Without PAMA reform, labs could face drastically reduced reimbursement for commonly performed lab tests for a host of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer,” explain Dr. Morice and Sause. “If the PAMA cuts go through, laboratories across the country may be forced to reevaluate what tests they offer and at what cost in order to compensate for the loss of funding.”
Fortunately, a bipartisan bill – the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act – was recently introduced to reform PAMA and support a more inclusive Medicare fee schedule.
“This would help ensure access to vital laboratory services as PAMA originally intended while setting a sustainable path forward that supports future innovation,” says Dr. Morice and Sause.
Read the op-ed on RealClearPolicy.