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COLA Reauthorized to Accredit Labs for CLIA Compliance

NEW YORK (360Dx) – COLA announced Thursday that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has renewed its deeming authority for another six years under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1998 (CLIA 1988).

The renewal means that COLA, a private, non-profit laboratory accreditation organization, is approved to accredit labs as being CLIA compliant.

Under CLIA, CMS is able to grant an accreditation organization like COLA the authority to accredit CLIA labs provided that the organization's standards for accrediting a lab are equal to or more stringent than the CLIA program requirements. Accrediting organizations are given this authority for a maximum of six years, after which it must be renewed by CMS.

"The process for renewing our deeming authority is no small undertaking and we are very pleased with the outcome," Nancy Stratton, CEO of COLA, said in a statement.

COLA said it has been approved to accredit labs in the areas of microbiology, including bacteriology, mycobacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology; diagnostic immunology, including syphilis serology and general immunology; chemistry, including routine chemistry, urinalysis, endocrinology, and toxicology; hematology, and immunohematology, including ABO group and Rh group, antibody detection, antibody identification, and compatibility testing.

COLA was first granted deeming authority by CMS in 1993. According to a document filed with the Federal Register, COLA's reapproval is effective from Feb. 22, 2019 to Feb. 22, 2025.