On January 28th, AACC sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Norris Cochran, urging the agency to review the previous administration’s decision to reduce Medicare payments for molecular pathology high throughput COVID-19 diagnostic tests that are not completed within two days of the specimen being collected. The change, which took effect on January 1st, has meant that laboratories which fail to meet the two-day requirement are paid $75 per test rather than the previous fee of $100.
AACC agrees that timely testing is vital to diagnosing, isolating, and treating patients with the coronavirus and performing much needed contact tracing, and many laboratories are completing their testing within the timeframe specified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). However, for those laboratories not meeting this timeframe, it is often for reasons outside of their control. AACC urges HHS to put the payment reduction on hold and include it in the review of recent policy decisions proposed or adopted by the previous administration. The association will keep members abreast of any new regulatory developments regarding COVID-19 test reimbursement.