SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
In a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Health Subcommittee, XiFin CEO Lâle White urged policymakers to prioritize the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA) to set Medicare payments for clinical laboratory services on a stable and sustainable pathway. White’s appeal supports the position of the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA), which led a Congressional appeal to drive a one-year delay in Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) reductions and data reporting included the recent short-term spending package.
“Reinstating ill-conceived Medicare cuts at the end of this one-year freeze threatens to reduce patient access to testing, hamper research and innovation in laboratory services, and further undermine our nation’s testing infrastructure,” White said. “As a leading technology company supporting complex, multi-specialty testing laboratories, XiFin continues to express alarm at the harm inflicted on our nation’s diagnostic infrastructure by the $3.8 billion in Medicare payment cuts for laboratory services that have occurred since the implementation of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA). That’s why it’s important to support SALSA in 2024.”
Despite repeated interventions by Congress to delay additional cuts – including the one-year delay included in the recent short-term spending package – policymakers have yet to set a sustainable policy to safeguard access to critical laboratory services. Without a long-term policy, laboratories again will face another round of payment cuts of up to 15 percent in January 2025 for approximately 800 tests under Medicare’s Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS), due to the flawed implementation of PAMA.
At issue is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) misinterpretation of PAMA’s legislative intent to reform Medicare’s CLFS. CMS has failed to base payment rates on truly representative market-based rates by independent laboratories, hospital laboratories, and physician office laboratories. The Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act, H.R. 2377, would require statistical sampling to obtain representative, private payor data from independent laboratories, hospital laboratories, and physician office labs, in addition to other reforms intended to address unintended burdens caused by PAMA.
“While the one-year delay in Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) reductions and data reporting protects patients relying on critical clinical laboratory services in the short-term, it is only a temporary reprieve,” said White. “XiFin urges Congress to adopt a more permanent fix, such as the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA). Enactment of SALSA will be critical to preserving our nation’s laboratory infrastructure and the high-quality clinical laboratory services patients and their providers rely upon to make vital medical decisions. On behalf of all the independent and hospital labs – which includes 12 of the top 15 publicly traded laboratories – XiFin serves, I respectfully urge the Health Subcommittee and the Energy and Commerce Committee to support SALSA to help preserve seniors’ access to critical laboratory services.”
XiFin is a healthcare information technology company that empowers healthcare organizations to navigate an increasingly complex and evolving healthcare landscape. Through innovative AI-enabled technologies and services, we deliver operational efficiency, interoperability, and simplicity. Our laboratory information system, revenue cycle management, clinical workflow enablement, and patient engagement solutions enable organizations to achieve stronger finances, streamline operations, and develop industry-leading business strategies. XiFin solutions deliver THE POWER TO DO GOOD™ so that healthcare organizations can do more good for more patients. Visit www.XiFin.com, follow XiFin on LinkedIn, or subscribe to the XiFin blog to learn more.
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