• CMS to Revisit Competitive Bidding for Laboratory Services?

    Editor’s Note.  CMS has previous attempted to institute a competitive bidding service for clinical laboratory services.  The effort failed.  Now the Office of Inspector General report on unimplemented recommendations suggests that the agency may try again.

    From:  HHS OIG — Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations, December 2012 Edition

    CMS said it would consider our recommendation as it continues to monitor the effects of its payment policies for laboratories. Options may include instituting competitive bidding for laboratory services.

    The HHS Budget in Brief for Fiscal Year 2009 proposed introducing competitive bidding for clinical laboratory services (p. 54). Specifically it proposed to expand the successful competitive acquisition policy to include clinical laboratory services. HHS estimated the savings at $2.29 billion over 5 years, 2009–2013, p. 59.

    We encourage CMS to continue to pursue legislation that would set accurate and reasonable payment rates for laboratory tests.


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