COLA Receives Deeming Authority for Another Six Years

by | Feb 28, 2019 | Featured | 1 comment

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has renewed COLA’s deeming authority for another six years under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA 88). COLA is a private, non-profit laboratory accreditation organization accrediting clinical laboratories nationwide.

Six years is the maximum period an accrediting organization can be given deeming authority before its next renewal period. COLA was approved to accredit the following CLIA-regulated specialties and subspecialties: 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.

“The process for renewing our deeming authority is no small undertaking and we are very pleased with the outcome,” said Nancy Stratton, Chief Executive Officer of COLA. COLA is also ISO certified. “A number of years ago we decided to seek ISO-certification. This internationally-recognized standard, which includes a routine audit by a third-party reviewer, strengthens the consistency of our program which is so vital to deeming re-approval and customer service excellence.”

COLA accredits clinical laboratories operating in many different settings including hospitals, physician offices, rural and community clinics, student centers, health fairs, ambulatory surgery centers, health maintenance organizations, healthcare systems, federally qualified health centers, nursing facilities as well as independent laboratories. “One of the things I strive for is to hire surveyors who have exceptional knowledge and depth of experience in a variety of healthcare settings,” said Kathy Nucifora, Director Accreditation. “This ensures that our team has a full appreciation of the context of the care setting in which the laboratory services are being provided while meeting our obligations under CLIA.”

COLA is committed to assisting laboratories in their mission to achieve the highest quality and accuracy in testing for patients. As a physician-directed organization, COLA’s commitment to patients is unwavering and is central to the company’s long history and core mission.

About Nancy Stratton

Nancy Stratton is the Chief Executive Officer of COLA.  Prior to joining COLA, Stratton was CEO of Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL), the largest division of Sonic Healthcare. She joined CPL in 1995 as a bench technologist, and served in various roles related to quality management, customer service, human resources, risk management, and regulatory and medical legal compliance.  Prior to joining CPL, she started her career as a medical technologist working in a variety of laboratory settings, including hospitals and physicians’ offices. Stratton holds a Master of Business Administration, Operations Management and a Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas.

About Kathy Nucifora

Kathy Nucifora is the Director of Accreditation of COLA. In this role, she oversees all facets of COLA’s Laboratory Accreditation Program. Nucifora has more than 30 years’ experience in clinical laboratories including management experiences in both physician office laboratories and hospital-based laboratories. Before joining COLA, Nucifora was the Laboratory Administrator at the University of Maryland Midtown Campus. Nucifora holds a Master of Public Health from Wichita State University and a BS in Medical Technology from Ball State University.

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