ASM Attends Economics Summit with Clinical Laboratory Stakeholders

Oct. 2, 2019

On Friday September 20, ASM staff attended the first Association of Molecular Pathology (AMP) Molecular Pathology Economics Summit in Washington, DC. While the focus of the summit was understandably on molecular pathologists, many of the concerns are similar to concerns in other areas of the clinical laboratory, including clinical microbiology.  Stakeholders from clinical laboratories, patients groups, providers, test manufacturers and the pharmaceutical community were represented in a number of panel discussions.  In keeping with the focus on economics, much of the discussion centered on the provisions of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA) which reduce payment to clinical laboratories for diagnostic tests.  
Participants also discussed the Laboratory Access for Beneficiaries Act (Lab Act); this legislation would delay the next round of data reporting required by PAMA by one year to ensure that all applicable laboratories required to report private payer data have the time to do so.  The bill also calls for the National Academy of Medicine to assess an appropriate rate-setting methodology that is representative of the market and ensures reliable, sustainable patient access to clinical diagnostics moving forward. The bipartisan bill now has 25 cosponsors, up from the original four. ASM has been monitoring this legislation in collaboration with the Clinical Laboratory Coalition (CLC) since it was introduced.