Quest Diagnostics 'disappointed' with proposed PAMA 2018 Medicare payment rates
Quest Diagnostics has responded to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, publication of proposed 2018 Medicare reimbursement rates for clinical laboratory tests under the Clinical Lab Fee Schedule, or CLFS, pursuant to Protecting Access to Medicare Act, or PAMA, announced September 22, 2017. "We are deeply disappointed that CMS has issued draft 2018 Medicare payment rates that are not market-based and derived from flawed market data collection that excluded key components of the lab market," said Steve Rusckowski, Chairman, President and CEO of Quest Diagnostics. "For example, hospitals and physician office labs comprise half of Medicare CLFS volume and lab spending, but only accounted for 8.5% of the reported lab volume used by CMS to calculate the rates. These draft rates are counter to the intent of Congress and will likely cause significant negative impacts to Medicare beneficiary access to lab services. These rates should not be finalized, and I fully support the American Clinical Laboratory Association's plan to explore all available options, including the courts if necessary, to ensure that patients have access to the services we provide."