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CARES Act Would Delay PAMA Reporting Requirements, Rate Cuts

NEW YORK – The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed into law on Friday provides clinical labs a one-year reprieve from reporting requirements under the Protecting Access to Medicare Act as well as a one-year delay of rate cuts scheduled to take place next year.

Reporting would no longer be required between January 1, 2020 and December 31. Instead, it would be required between January 1, 2022 and March 31, 2022. Additionally, the next round of rate cuts would be pushed from 2021 to 2022, with tests receiving cuts of up of 15 percent a year from 2022 through 2024.

In a statement issued Wednesday, American Clinical Laboratory Association President Julie Khani called the provision "an important step for seniors and our most vulnerable patients who rely on vital, routine tests for their health."

On Friday, President Trump signed the legislation into law. The CARES Act is intended to provide a $2 trillion infusion into the US economy, which has cratered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The House passed the legislation on Friday while the Senate passed it on Wednesday.