REIMBURSEMENT

CMS Exercises Enforcement Discretion for PAMA Reporting

As we previously reported, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has indicated that laboratories had sought relief from the March 31 deadline for reporting applicable information under the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA). Just before that reporting deadline, on March 30, 2017, CMS announced that it will exercise “enforcement discretion” until May 30, 2017. Thus, the agency won’t impose potential civil monetary penalties for failure to report applicable information under PAMA by March 31. CMS added that the 60-day enforcement discretion “is the maximum amount of time CMS can permit to still have sufficient time to calculate the CLFS payment rates scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2018.” 

The enforcement discretion follows reports from the laboratory industry that some labs would have trouble reporting “a complete set of applicable information” in time for the March 31 deadline. CMS acknowledged that some entities may need more time to collect and review their data, “address any issues identified during such review, and compile the data into CMS’s required reporting format.” But, it also noted that this enforcement discretion doesn’t mean that those who are ready to report should delay their reporting until May 30.

Together with the announcement, CMS also provided a document summarizing provider outreach and education resources the agency has previously provided to assist with reporting obligations. The summary instructs that substantive questions about data collection and reporting should be sent to CLFS_Inquiries@cms.hhs.gov while technical assistance for accessing and using the CLFS data collection system should be directed to the Help Desk at CLFSHelpDesk@dcca.com or 844-876-0765.

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