Near Patient Testing Can Help Quickly Identify the Next Zika

Our interconnected society makes it vital that our public health professionals get real-time access to diagnostic information for quick identification of the disease and treatment. However, potentially devastating cuts to the Medicare Clinical Lab Fee Schedule from the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) could hurt all laboratories but particularly hard hit will be rural…

Medicare Copays for Clinical Lab Services: ACLA’s View

The American Clinical Laboratory Association, of which COLA is an associate member, prepared this document outlining its views about proposals to change the cost sharing structure for Medicare by initiating a patient copay for lab services. _____________________ Clinical Laboratory Cost Sharing – Penny Wise and Pound Foolish One option raised by the Congressional Budget Office…

Maryland Schools Offer Programs for Future Lab Scientists

If you’re a student attending or planning to attend college in Maryland and have yet to choose a career path, there are reasons to consider the lab sciences. A number of Maryland schools, including Morgan State University, the Community College of Baltimore County-Essex, and the University of Maryland Baltimore, offer programs and/or financial aid opportunities…

Mario Motta, MD, joins COLA Inc. Board of Directors

COLA Inc., a national laboratory accreditor dedicated to quality in laboratory medicine and patient care, announces the appointment of Mario Motta, MD, to its Board of Directors. Dr. Motta is a board-certified cardiologist from Salem, Massachusetts, and he joins COLA Inc.’s board of prominent professionals appointed by AAFP, ACP, and AMA. In addition to being…

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Legislation addressing PT Referral Controversy Moves in Congress

Legislation to resolve a longstanding issue with respect to CLIA enforcement – specifically, how federal regulators handle labs that mistakenly refer proficiency test samples(PT) to other labs – has moved forward in both houses of Congress. On September 20, H.R. 6118, the Taking Essential Steps for Testing Act (TEST Act), introduced by Rep. Michael Grimm…

Laboratory Excellence Award Spotlight – Dexter Medical Center Laboratory

COLA continues to spotlight a laboratory that has shown excellence not only in their compliance with accreditation standards, but also overall high quality patient care.  COLA Accredited laboratories that meet the Laboratory Excellence Award (LEA) have had zero citations on their survey; no unsuccessful Proficiency Testing (PT) for any regulated analyte/subspecialty/specialty for the last two years…

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Lab Copay Proposal Part of the Federal Budget Debate

As the Obama White House and Congressional Republicans debate the debt ceiling and budget situations, possible impacts to Medicare funding continue to be part of the discussion. One of the proposals said to be on the front burner involves imposing a 20 percent Medicare Part B patient copay on clinical lab services.. Lab tests are…