Quest Diagnostics supports suit against HHS charging that CMS ignored congressional intent in implementing new clinical lab payment system

SECAUCUS, N.J., Dec. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services, announced its support for a lawsuit filed by the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) charging that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) failed to follow a congressional directive to implement a market-based laboratory payment system. Quest is a member of ACLA.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated logo. (PRNewsFoto/Quest Diagnostics Incorporated)

"We fully support the legal action taken today by ACLA," said Steve Rusckowski, Chairman, President and CEO of Quest Diagnostics.  "From the beginning, the process established by CMS was highly flawed. Instead of reforming Medicare reimbursement rates to reflect the broad commercial insurance market, CMS prohibited more than 99 percent of labs from contributing private payer data. Instead of protecting access to the critical laboratory services our industry provides, the damage caused by this reckless process will ultimately limit Medicare beneficiaries' access to lab testing."

The lawsuit by ACLA asserts that CMS, operating under the purview of HHS, ignored congressional intent and instituted a highly flawed data reporting process in advance of setting market rates under the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA).  Contrary to Congress's directives, the overwhelming majority of laboratories were prohibited from reporting private payer data.  As a result, CMS failed to protect access to laboratory services for Medicare beneficiaries. This flawed process could cause serious financial harm to potentially thousands of hospital, independent and physician office laboratories, and make it harder for Medicare beneficiaries to get access to medical testing, particularly in remote rural areas and in nursing homes that depend on laboratory testing services.   

To view the complaint in its entirety, click here.

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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics

For further information: Denny Moynihan, Quest Diagnostics (Media): 973-520-2800, or Shawn Bevec, Quest Diagnostics (Investors): 973-520-2900