WASHINGTON – AACC, a global scientific and medical professional organization dedicated to better health through laboratory medicine, is pleased to announce that Representative Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas) is the recipient of AACC’s Outstanding Legislator Award for the 115th Congress. This award recognizes Rep. Yoder for his tireless efforts to improve the quality of patient care by advancing harmonization—or uniformity—of clinical laboratory test results.
Lack of lab result harmonization is a serious issue in healthcare that can lead to inaccurate diagnoses and treatment as well as unnecessary medical spending. Although individual labs generate test results that are highly accurate within the context of their diagnostic methods, without systemwide harmonization, patients’ lab results can differ depending on where their tests were performed and what methods were used. Harmonizing test results is crucial to ensuring that patient lab results can be compared over time and used to accurately monitor changes in health even if, for instance, the patient switches providers or the provider’s lab changes instruments. AACC has worked for more than a decade to increase the number of harmonized lab tests, and most recently spearheaded a collaborative effort to raise awareness in Congress of the need for funding toward this aim.
Rep. Yoder played an integral role in this initiative by championing the issue of harmonization with House and Senate appropriators. His leadership and persistence were critical in building legislative support for action in this area, and resulted in Congress granting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) $2 million in funding for harmonization in the FY 2018 omnibus spending package. CDC will use these resources to advance harmonization for free testosterone, thyroid stimulating hormone, and estrogen tests, which in turn will improve diagnosis, treatment, and preventative measures for diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, chronic kidney disease, and osteoporosis.
“AACC extends its deepest thanks and appreciation to Rep. Yoder for his dedication to harmonization and to securing the funds for CDC to focus on this important patient care issue,” said AACC CEO Janet B. Kreizman. “With uniform results for these critical tests, the country will see fewer medical errors, lower healthcare costs, and more patient involvement in care decisions. We look forward to our continued partnership with Rep. Yoder and to building on this success in the future.”
Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, 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. For more information, visit www.aacc.org.