Laboratory News Brief - December 2020

December 18, 2020 By: Quadax


Keeping you in the know on the constantly changing world of medical billing and reimbursement, Quadax compiles industry news and articles covering important revenue cycle topics impacting the lab industry. 

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Icon-VirusCoronavirus (COVID-19)

14 insurers extending COVID-19 cost-sharing waivers into 2021

Several commercial health insurers will waive member cost-sharing — which includes copays, deductibles and coinsurance — for COVID-19 testing and treatment into the next year.
[Read more]

CDC Offers New COVID-19 Specimen Collection Infographics
Centers for Disease Control

CDC recently published two new infographics for performing nasopharyngeal (NP) and nasal mid-turbinate (NMT) specimen collection in the Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens for COVID-19. Healthcare providers can use these infographics as a resource when collecting specimens for COVID-19 testing.
[Read more]

Surging COVID-19 Cases Are Pushing Laboratories to the Breaking Point
G2 Intelligence

Long lines for testing. Shortages of critical testing supplies. Case backlogs and long reporting delays. Do laboratories have the capacity to keep up with testing demands?  
[Read more]

Insurers, labs point fingers over COVID-19 test coverage, prices
Healthcare Dive

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act both included provisions ensuring that people can receive COVID-19 tests without out-of-pocket costs. However, ACLA says "murky" regulatory guidance issued in June by HHS, Labor and Treasury is driving coverage denials and high costs.
[Read more]

COVID-19 and in vitro diagnostics: New market forces at play
McKinsey & Company

The high demand for in vitro diagnostics could seed structural shifts that will have long-term implications for diagnostic-test manufacturers.
[Read more]

‘Nobody Sees Us’: Testing-Lab Workers Strain Under Demand
NY Times

Laboratory technologists have been working nonstop to help the nation diagnose an ever-growing number of coronavirus cases.
[Read more] 

New assay offers rapid SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing

Researchers have developed a new blood assay that uses optical biosensor technology to test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in under 20 minutes, according to a study published on December 10 in Scientific Reports.
[Read more] 

What have labs learned from the COVID-19 pandemic?

If you had the chance to do it all over again, what would you do differently? Representatives from clinical labs pondered that question as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic in a December 14 session at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) virtual meeting, offering guidance on how labs could respond to the next global health emergency.
[Read more] 

Icon - Financial Obligations

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 

Sewell introduces bill to ensure Medicare pays for new multi-cancer screening tech

Alabama Political Reporter

Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, joined three other lawmakers in introducing bipartisan legislation to remove barriers to innovative multi-cancer screening technology for Medicare beneficiaries. The bill would ensure prompt access to FDA-approved multi-cancer screening tests and fuel innovation in cancer screening.
[Read more]

2020 MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception Deadline Extended

The CMS extended the 2020 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception application deadline to February 1, 2021. For pathologists, physicians, and other clinicians who are unable to meet requirements for MIPS in 2020 due to COVID-19, the CMS will allow you to request a hardship exception. The CAP has advocated for MIPS reporting relief for pathology practices in light of the pandemic.
[Read more]

CAP Pushes Congress to Stop Medicare Cuts in Year-End Spending Deal

With Congress maneuvering to complete its year-end business before the holidays, the CAP lobbied congressional lawmakers and staff to stop -9% Medicare cuts to pathologists in 2021. Progress has been made with gaining support amongst lawmakers to stop or mitigate the cuts to pathologists and other specialty physicians next year. 
[Read more]

CMS Proposes New Rules to Address Prior Authorization and Reduce Burden on Patients and Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would improve the electronic exchange of health care data among payers, providers, and patients, and streamline processes related to prior authorization to reduce burden on providers and patients. 
[Read more]



HHS Proposes Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy Rule to Empower Patients, Improve Coordinated Care, and Reduce Regulatory Burdens

Department of Health and Human Services

HHS announced proposed changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to support individuals’ engagement in their care, remove barriers to coordinated care, and reduce regulatory burdens on the health care industry.
[Read more]

The HIPAA Information Access Rights Crackdown Continues
G2 Intelligence

As of September 2019, no provider had ever been fined for failing to meet their PHI access responsibilities. Now, nearly a dozen such fines have been imposed. And those numbers are growing literally every week. Here’s the latest rundown of settlements.
[Read more]


Bayer, Tempus join forces on cancer testing

Bayer and Tempus are partnering to provide broader access to genomic testing and tailored treatment approaches for the oncology community. They plan to help facilitate patient identification for precision oncology by providing testing via the Tempus xT broad-panel genomic sequencing assay. 
[Read more]


House and Senate panels reach provider-friendly deal to end surprise medical billing

House and Senate committee leaders reached a pivotal deal to end surprise medical bills and hope to include it in an end-of-year spending package. The deal would prohibit certain out-of-network providers from balance billing patients unless the patient is notified of their network status. 
[Read more]

Icon - Out of PocketPayor

UnitedHealthcare Delays Deadline for Lab Test Registry to January 1, 2022

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, we are delaying implementation of the Laboratory Test Registry Protocol to January 1, 2022. 
[Read more]


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