The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) launched a series of digital advertisements last week as part of the Stop Lab Cuts campaign that started in July. Since its launch, the campaign has been urging Congress to pass the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (S. 4449/H.R. 8188), which is predicted to help protect patient access to laboratory services.
Digital advertisements will appear on news sites, mainly reaching policymakers and stakeholders in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The campaign’s website, StopLabCuts.org, was created to provide regular updates and insights from patients, providers, and public health stakeholders as well as leaders in the clinical laboratory industry.
“This campaign is intended to raise awareness and spark further momentum to remedy these impending cuts through the bipartisan Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act,” said Susan Van Meter, ACLA president.
According to the Stop Lab Cuts campaign, Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) cuts could impact access to laboratory tests at skilled nursing facilities, resulting in compromised access to timely, comprehensive, and essential clinical laboratory testing. Funding for laboratory testing to identify and monitor serious conditions such as diabetes could be cut an additional 13 percent in January 2023. Similarly, commonly ordered laboratory tests to diagnose and monitor cardiovascular disease could also face a 14 percent funding cut in 2023.
Enactment of the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act would streamline data reporting by ordering the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to gather data from a statistical sampling of all senior-serving laboratories, including independent, hospital, and physician office labs.
As stated on StopLabCuts.org, “Congress has acted on a bipartisan basis three times to ‘press the brakes’ on harm caused by PAMA, and now is the time to ease the cuts for the long-term, with congressional action before the next round of cuts go into effect in January 2023. The outcome of these cuts is predictable: Delayed and disrupted care could lead to the worsening of health care status for at-risk and vulnerable seniors, ultimately resulting in higher costs for everyone, and undermining any potential cost-savings from uniform reimbursement.”