Labvocacy efforts to prevent PAMA cuts have generated a new bill in the House of Representatives Rules Committee. Among its provisions, the “Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act” would delay any cuts under PAMA for one year until January of 2023. This will give the laboratory community time to work on a permanent solution to the problem.
Visit the Labvocate Action Center and ask your members of Congress to support this bill and communicate their support to House Rules Committee Chairman Representative James McGovern (MA-2nd). Time if very short for Congress to take action. Tell them that you need their support on this bill to prevent cuts to the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee schedule that would further erode the precarious finances of America’s clinical laboratories, severely limiting their ability to staff laboratories and pushing an exhausted workforce even further into burnout.
Unless this bill becomes law, the scheduled cuts will severely limit access to laboratory services that over 56 million seniors rely on to manage chronic conditions, cancer, and other complex health issues. Our most vulnerable seniors bear the brunt of these cuts. Some specialized labs that serve nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and long-term care facilities have already been forced to shut down operations, reduce services, and lay off employees Infectious disease testing may further be limited. Rural beneficiaries in need of routine testing to monitor chronic diseases may face delays. Congress must Act by December 31, to prevent further significant cuts and another round of flawed data collection will both occur on January 1 and threaten access to testing.
The Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act is bipartisan and builds on the bipartisan steps previously taken to mitigate the harmful impacts of PAMA cuts, including the passage of the Laboratory Access for Beneficiaries (LAB) Act in 2019, and more recently, a delay of cuts and data reporting as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
We have some momentum, and now we need to push harder to make this law.