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Clinical lab demo conference delayed

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Due to the fires in San Diego and declared state of emergency, CMS' Oct. 31 planned bidders conference for the Medicare clinical laboratory services competitive bidding demonstration project has been postponed ("1The Gray Sheet" Oct. 22, 2007, p. 23)

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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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