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Bill Would Stop Competitive Bidding Demonstration For Laboratory Services

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

A bill introduced in the House Aug. 4 would cancel a Medicare clinical laboratory services competitive bidding demonstration project before it begins

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CMS lab demo bids due Feb. 15

Medicare agency announces Feb. 15 due date for bids of participants in its clinical laboratory competitive bidding demonstration project, noting that winning labs will be selected on April 11. The project is designed to assess the cost-saving potential of replacing Medicare's clinical laboratory fee schedule with prices based on the lowest bids from labs, a concept that clinical lab groups oppose ("1The Gray Sheet" Aug. 13, 2007, p. 8). In December, CMS held a bidders' conference in San Diego, which is the first of two areas in the country that will participate in the three-year clinical laboratory competitive bidding demonstration ("2The Gray Sheet" Oct. 22, 2007, In Brief)

CMS lab demo bids due Feb. 15

Medicare agency announces Feb. 15 due date for bids of participants in its clinical laboratory competitive bidding demonstration project, noting that winning labs will be selected on April 11. The project is designed to assess the cost-saving potential of replacing Medicare's clinical laboratory fee schedule with prices based on the lowest bids from labs, a concept that clinical lab groups oppose ("1The Gray Sheet" Aug. 13, 2007, p. 8). In December, CMS held a bidders' conference in San Diego, which is the first of two areas in the country that will participate in the three-year clinical laboratory competitive bidding demonstration ("2The Gray Sheet" Oct. 22, 2007, In Brief)

Diagnostics News In Brief

San Diego is Medicare demo site: Clinical laboratories located in the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos area of California that want to continue receiving Medicare reimbursement for their services will have to submit competitive bids on 303 different test codes to CMS in the coming months. CMS selected the San Diego region Oct. 15 as the first of two areas in the country that will participate in the three-year clinical laboratory competitive bidding demonstration, mandated by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. The project is designed to assess the cost-saving potential of replacing Medicare's clinical laboratory fee schedule with prices based on the lowest bids from labs (1"The Gray Sheet" July 23, 2007, p. 8). A Bidder's Conference to explain the bidding process is planned for Oct. 31 in the San Diego area. Clinical lab groups are bitterly opposed to the project, and have been pushing for Congress to halt its implementation (2"The Gray Sheet" Aug. 13, 2007, p. 8). AdvaMed, representing diagnostic test manufacturers, also says it will be closely monitoring the demo project out of concerns that it focuses too much on cost rather than diagnostic quality

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