Clinical laboratories and hospitals should note the potential changes to the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (“PAMA”) reporting requirements tucked into the 1,400 page Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule (the “Proposed Rule”) released by CMS earlier this month. If finalized, these proposals would likely expand the number of laboratories, including hospital laboratories, subject to PAMA’s reporting requirements and may ultimately impact the rates paid under the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (“MCLFS”).

As discussed in a previous post, PAMA made sweeping changes to the rate-setting process under the MCLFS. PAMA and its implementing regulations require “applicable laboratories” to report the private payor rates they receive for laboratory tests during specific data collection periods, and those rates then determine the rates paid under the MCLFS. Continue Reading Potential Changes to PAMA Reporting in Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule

Expanding on our recent blog post discussing CMS’s final rule (the “Final Rule”) implementing portions of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 related to clinical laboratories, my colleague Karen Lovitch and I published an article in BNA’s Medicare Report entitled CMS Regulations Overhaul Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee ScheduleThe article discusses the reporting obligations of clinical laboratories, the impact of the Final Rule on reimbursement for clinical laboratory tests, and areas in which laboratories should expect further sub-regulatory guidance from CMS.

Testtubes_143897611Last Friday afternoon CMS released its eagerly anticipated final rule (the Final Rule) implementing the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA), which, together with the Final Rule, will make sweeping changes to the rate-setting process under the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (MCLFS).  According to CMS estimates, Medicare Part B payments for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests (CDLTs) will decrease by $390 million in fiscal year 2018 when the repricing will take effect.  The Final Rule comes nearly nine months after CMS issued its proposed rule (the Proposed Rule) and long after PAMA’s statutory deadline.  Our previous coverage of the Proposed Rule is available here, here, and here. Continue Reading At Long Last, CMS Issues Final Rule for Lab Fee Schedule Changes

As reported in our 2015 Laboratory Industry Year in Review post, the laboratory industry began 2016 amid confusion regarding how to comply with the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA), which made the most significant changes to the Medicare Part B payment structure for laboratories since implementation of the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (MCLFS) in 1984.  Despite PAMA’s requirement that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) publish final regulations no later than June 30, 2015, CMS did not issue a proposed rule until October 1st and has yet to follow up with the final rule.  Given stakeholders’ substantial concerns regarding the proposed rule – and the track record of CMS – the delay is not surprising. Continue Reading Delay in Final Rule Implementing PAMA: Sunshine Act Revisited?

Over the past year, significant regulatory changes began to take shape that will have lasting effects on the laboratory industry for years to come. After publishing draft guidance regarding the regulation of laboratory developed tests (LDTs) in late 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made clear in 2015 that it intends to move forward with its proposal next year, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule outlining the process for overhauling the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (MCLFS) for the first time in over 20 years. In addition, laboratories faced more than their fair share of enforcement actions and other litigation, and this level of activity is likely to continue in 2016. Continue Reading Laboratories – 2015 Year in Review [VIDEO]

Late on Friday afternoon the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced publication of the proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) implementing substantial changes to the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (MCLFS) made by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA). PAMA significantly revised how CMS will pay for clinical laboratory testing by tying reimbursement amounts to private payor rates as of January 1, 2017. Continue Reading CMS Publishes Long-Awaited PAMA Proposed Rule