Another perspective on PAMA

June 27, 2014

In the July issue of MLO, Mark Birenbaum, PhD, and Julie Scott Allen, representing the National Independent Laboratory Association (NILA), raise serious doubts about The Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) of 2014, recently passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. They argue that it may have the unintended effect of shrinking competition and reducing the number of regional and community laboratories in the United States. They say that it is not the market-based reform it is purported to be by its proponents–that indeed, it functions in none of the ways true market reform would function. They argue that it targets the highest-volume routine tests for cuts, and threatens cuts in some CPT test codes of up to 75% over the next six years. They seek to mobilize the laboratory community against PAMA. They make a cogent argument, which you can read online at We'd like to know what you think about this far-reaching issue, and the different perspectives on the clinical lab that underlie the controversy it has stirred.