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NILA Applauds Congress for Delaying Harmful Payment Cuts to Clinical Labs

The Senate has recently passed legislation that delays cuts to as much as 15 percent of commonly ordered tests

The National Independent Laboratory Association (NILA) applauds Congress for delaying damaging cuts to laboratory reimbursement rates. On December 9, the Senate passed legislation to delay for one year the next round of cuts to laboratory reimbursement and the associated private-payer data reporting period scheduled to begin on January 1, 2022. The House passed the legislation on December 7, 2021, and President Biden is expected to sign it.

Both the reimbursement cuts and the data reporting period are required by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA). Without this Congressional action, laboratories were set to see cuts of as much as 15 percent to some of the most commonly ordered laboratory tests. 

“Our nation’s community and regional independent laboratories continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and provide critical laboratory services in many communities across the country, including many rural, inner city, and other underserved areas,” said NILA’s Executive Director Mark Birenbaum, PhD. “NILA is grateful Congress took this step to delay steep cuts to laboratory reimbursement, and we urge the House and Senate in the coming year to work on a viable long-term fix to PAMA.” 

“PAMA-related cuts have already weakened our nation’s clinical laboratory infrastructure. Any additional cuts will continue to damage the ability of community and regional laboratories to provide essential services and to prepare for a future pandemic or other public health emergency,” he added. 

- This press release was provided by the National Independent Laboratory Association