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Despite the enormous value clinical lab tests provide, both to the Medicare program and to patients, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for clinical laboratories to absorb the deterioration of Medicare payment while the costs of providing their critical service, including labor and transportation, continues to climb.
It’s penny-wise and pound-foolish to think that drastic, arbitrary cuts to lab services — which play a vital role in improving patient care and decreasing health care costs — are the answer to our nation’s health spending problems. It is, in fact, a false choice.
Alan Mertz is president of the American Clinical Laboratory Association, which represents the nation’s leading clinical laboratories.