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Dear Senator Isakson,

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) endorses your legislation, S. 794, the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act of 2017, which would make the local coverage determination (LCD) decision-making process more transparent. Currently, Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) make coverage decisions with limited public input and scrutiny. S.794 would alter this process by encouraging greater interaction and collaboration between MACs and stakeholders.

AACC is a global scientific and medical professional organization dedicated to clinical laboratory science and its application to healthcare. AACC brings together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of progressing laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation.

AACC believes S.794, if enacted, could lead to better, more consistent policy decisions. Specifically, the bill would require MACs to:

  • publish proposed LCDs on the internet and provide an opportunity for public comment;
  • describe the rationale and evidence supporting the draft policy; and
  • publicly respond to comments when finalizing an LCD decision.

The legislation would also limit MACs from adopting LCDs developed by other contractors without first independently evalulating the evidence underlying the policy and its applicablity to the region. AACC strongly supports the passage of S.794 and looks forward to working with you on this important matter. If you have any questions, please email Vince Stine, PhD, AACC’s Director of Government Affairs, at vstine@aacc.org.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Bennett PhD, FRCPath, FACB, DABCC
President, AACC