The end-of-year omnibus spending bill passed by congress in December included a provision that delays scheduled payment cuts under the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA), as well as the impending price reporting period for applicable clinical laboratories until January 2024. While this development represents a temporary win for AACC and the laboratory community, it does not address the underlying issues with PAMA - the reform of which has been a priority in the laboratory community.

In the fall, AACC joined others in endorsing the Saving Access to Laboratory Service Act (SALSA), which would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to modify the methodology it uses to set laboratory fees. The current methodology used by CMS omits large sectors of clinical laboratory field and has resulted in in deeper than anticipated cuts in lab rates that threaten the ability of labs to provide services, especially in rural institutions. SALSA is expected to be reintroduced in the new session of Congress. As always, the association will work with its allies to fix PAMA and advocate for the clinical laboratories working to provide essential care for their patients.