In an article to be published in our July 2023 National Lab Reporter (NLR), lab industry experts say they have high hopes of the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA) bill passing this year, most likely as part of a larger spending bill.
SALSA, which was first introduced last year but failed to pass, would correct problems with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’s (CMS’s) lab test pricing scheme put in place as part of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA). The scheme, first implemented in 2018, led to deep cuts for Medicare reimbursements for lab tests. Implementation of further PAMA-related cuts has been put on pause for the past few years, but could resume in 2024, leading to even deeper cuts if SALSA either doesn’t pass, or another one-year delay isn’t approved by Congress.
In our July 2023 NLR, G2 writer Glenn Demby speaks with American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) president Susan Van Meter, MA; Mark S. Birenbaum, PhD, executive director of the American Association of Bioanalysts; Erin Morton, a partner at Washington, DC, lobbying firm CRD Associates; and Shannon Haymond, PhD, president of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC)—all of whom showed optimism that SALSA will pass in 2023. Interviews with these experts revealed four key reasons that the bill has a good chance of passing:
- Greater appreciation and urgency
- Recognition that PAMA pricing and reporting needs fixing
- The SALSA bill itself
- The lab industry’s unity