The House of Representatives and Senate have passed approving a continuing resolution (CR) that includes a one-year delay of implementation of the PAMA Medicare payment cuts to clinical laboratory services and data reporting, until January, 2025. The President is expected to sign it into law this week.

Thank you to all who participated in some form of the Stop Lab Cuts campaign, especially those who made Hill visits at our recent Symposium. Awareness of the problem by Congress continues to increase.

Without this action, clinical laboratories would have faced a fourth round of cuts of up to 15 percent to 800 tests next year. Resumption of year-over-year cuts would threaten patient access to quality clinical laboratory services, reduce investment in innovation for the next generation of diagnostics, and weaken the nation’s clinical laboratory infrastructure.

A one-year delay counts as “savings” for the federal government this year, which was used to offset other healthcare provisions in the bill. We will continue to work with our coalition partners to pass SALSA next year so we have a permanent solution.

There are many members of Congress who are supporting clinical laboratories. We are grateful to Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), along with Representatives Richard Hudson (R-NC), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Scott Peters (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Ann Kuster (D-NH), and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), the bipartisan champions of the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA), and the dozens of co-sponsors across both chambers for ensuring cuts will not resume in January.

The leadership of the SALSA champions, the SALSA co-sponsorship of dozens of members of the House and Senate, and the strength of the collective advocacy of our 70 organizations representing patients, consumers, and providers who support permanent PAMA relief, sets a strong foundation for advancement of SALSA in 2024.