Lab Coalition to Senators: Block Medicare Test Fee Cuts
The Clinical Laboratory Coalition is urging key senators on the Finance Committee to reject a proposed 14 percent cut in Medicare lab fee schedule rates over 10 years. The proposal is contained in the president’s budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2014, which begins this Oct. 1. It calls for reducing test reimbursement by an additional $9.46 billion over 10 years. The president’s proposal would add a 1.75 percent cut to the Medicare Part B clinical laboratory fee schedule every year through 2023. In an April 16 letter to Finance Committee chairman Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the ranking minority member, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the coalition argued that “such reductions gravely threaten laboratory providers’ ability to serve their communities, provide access to Medicare lab services, and be a vital partner in supporting health care providers in delivering appropriate, cost-effective, and high-quality health care services to the Medicare population.” Clinical laboratory testing represents only about 1.6 percent ($8.9 billion) of all Medicare spending and accounts for 70 percent of clinical decisionmaking, the letter pointed out. Yet it has been subject to significant freezes in payments and cuts over the last two decades. Since 2010, Medicare lab spending has been repeatedly […]
- 1.75 percent every year for five years (2010-2015);
- A productivity adjustment every year through the Affordable Care Act (ACA);
- A 2 percent rebasing of lab test fees as required by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012; and
- Another 2 percent in FY 2013 through sequestration.
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