On Dec. 19, Congress passed a year-end spending bill that included the Laboratory Access for Beneficiaries (LAB) Act. The bill went to the President for his signature. The bill mandates that the federal Centers or Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) delay by one year having labs report their private payer lab test data. This means no
Tag: Clinical Laboratory Fee ScheduleSkip to articles
Outpatient clinical laboratory services are paid based on the Medicare Part B Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) in accordance with Section 1833(h) of the Social Security Act. Payment is the lesser of the amount billed, the local fee for a geographic area, or a national limit. In accordance with the statute, the national limits are set at a percent of the median of all local fee schedule amounts for each laboratory test code. Each year, fees are updated for inflation based on the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index. However, legislation by Congress can modify the update to the fees.
Co-payments and deductibles do not apply to services paid under the Medicare clinical laboratory fee schedule.
Each year, new laboratory test codes are added to the clinical laboratory fee schedule and corresponding fees are developed in response to a public comment process. Also, for a cervical or vaginal smear test (Pap smear), the fee cannot be less than a national minimum payment amount, initially established at $14.60 and updated each year for inflation.
Critical access hospitals are paid for outpatient laboratory services on a reasonable cost basis, instead of by the fee schedule. Hospitals with fewer than 50 beds in qualified rural areas—those with population densities in the lowest quartile of all rural areas—are paid based on a reasonable cost basis for outpatient clinical laboratory tests for cost reporting periods between July 2004 and July 2006.
The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA) that became law on April 1, 2014, required labs to report such data and the test volumes associated with that data, beginning on Jan. 1, 2016.
On Jan. 1, 2017, CMS will use the market data to set prices for the Part B Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule. As currently written, PAMA specifies that CMS cannot cut the price of a specific lab test by more than 10% in each of 2017, 2018, and 2019, nor by more than 15% in each of 2020, 2021, and 2022. There is no limit on price reductions outlined in the law for years following 2022.
This is an excerpt of a 3,163-word article in the Dec. 16, 2019 issue of THE DARK REPORT (TDR). The full article is available to members of The Dark Intelligence Group.
CEO SUMMARY: There was plenty of bad news in 2019 for clinical labs and pathology groups. Yet lurking inside this news are clear opportunities –
CEO SUMMARY: Two lawsuits filed in federal courts against Laboratory Corporation of America and Quest Diagnostics may have consequences for the entire lab industry. The plaintiffs are patients who allege that the two defendant lab companies charged them as much as 10 times more than what Medicare, Medicaid, or commercial health plans charged. Allegations include overcharging,
CEO SUMMARY: There are both surprises and several valuable insights to be harvested from THE DARK REPORT’s “Top 10 Lab Industry Stories for 2019.” Financially, 2019 proved to be a tough year for both clinical labs and anatomic pathology groups in the United States. One reason is because Medicare and private payers continue to use
IT’S OFFICIAL! A YEAR-LONG COLLABORATION involving a health insurer, a clinical laboratory, and an analytics company showed that insurers and physicians can use clinically-actionable intelligence developed from medical lab test data to improve patient outcomes.
This important accomplishment in patient care comes with another significant milestone: The health insurer is paying the lab outside of the
CEO SUMMARY: Will clinical labs heed the lessons learned from the first PAMA private payer market price reporting cycle that CMS conducted in 2017? One major difference is that the definition of applicable laboratories now includes most hospital labs. This creates the opportunity for a larger number of clinical labs to submit their price data
CEO SUMMARY: It is ironic that, after the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) enacted the deepest price cuts to the Part B Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule in more than 50 years, a U.S. Senator now asks CMS why it will pay billions more for lab testing. The question from Iowa Senator Chuck
CEO SUMMARY: This will be one of the most challenging years facing the clinical lab industry since the early 1990s. The CMS scheme to collect private payer lab test prices and use that data to set Medicare clinical laboratory test prices is proving to be an indiscriminate tool that is poised to undermine the financial integrity of many labs,
CEO SUMMARY: With so many market forces working against the economic interests of clinical laboratories, it is essential that all labs develop appropriate strategies designed to sustain the quality of laboratory testing services and the financial integrity of the laboratory organization. In this intelligence briefing, XIFIN, Inc.’s CEO, Lâle White, explains five strategies that are
CEO SUMMARY: This will be one of the most challenging years facing the clinical lab industry since the early 1990s, when closed panel HMOs were the disruptive force that generated deep cuts in lab test prices. However, unlike HMOs of that era, the CMS scheme to collect private payer lab test prices and use that