Government Funding Bill to Bring Relief for Clinical Laboratories

November 16, 2023

This week, the House of Representatives and Senate passed the “Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024” (H.R. 6363), which extends government spending past the funding deadline of November 17, 2023. President Biden is expected to sign it into law by the end of the week. Of note to the clinical laboratory community, this Act delays cuts to the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) in 2024 as mandated by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA). This is a 1-year delay, pushing the cuts of up to 15% for any test to CY2025.

This news was well received by the clinical pathology community and associated organizations, who have been lobbying for years on broad changes to PAMA due to what they view as unfair data collection rules and devastating cuts to revenue. The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), College of American Pathologists (CAP), National Independent Laboratory Association (NILA) and many other laboratory and healthcare organizations support the adoption of the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA) (H.R. 2377). According to the website dedicated to advocacy for SALSA, the Act will simplify the data reporting process and protect access to testing in the most vulnerable communities and populations by preserving revenue and achieving sustainable Medicare rates for laboratory services.

It is important to note that data-reporting requirements for PAMA are also delayed 1 year. APS will continue to monitor this legislation, SALSA and all other legislation affecting your revenue.