The Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA) was introduced today in both the House and Senate by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Tom Tillis (R-NC) and Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), and Scott Peters (D-CA).

This bill is the same as the one ASCLS and every other clinical laboratory group pushed during the last Congress. SALSA will repair a flawed data reporting and rate setting methodology put in place by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) of 2014 and set the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) back on a sustainable path by requiring market rates from all laboratory segments for widely available tests.

The sponsors have issued a press statement explaining the bill.

ASCLS is coordinating with our colleagues in the rest of the clinical laboratory community and supporting the Stop Lab Cuts campaign with resources and opportunities to take action, in our effort to permanently fix this problem.

In December, Congress delayed cuts under PAMA for the fourth time, all on a bipartisan basis.

  • 2019: Laboratory Access for Beneficiaries (LAB) Act
  • 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
  • Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act in 2021:0% cuts and delays further cut until 2023.
  • Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022: 0% cuts and delays cuts and reporting to 2024

None of those actions permanently fixed the problem, but passing SALSA into law would. Without Congressional action, clinical laboratories would face a major, devastating cut in reimbursement via Medicare that would flow directly into most private-payor contracts.

Prepare to be active advocating for passage and encourage every laboratory professional you know to do the same.