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US trade group challenges CMS over reimbursement rates for lab tests

The American Clinical Laboratory Association filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging the process by which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, set reimbursement rates for lab tests for 2018.

The ACLA argued in its lawsuit that CMS failed to implement a market-based laboratory payment system by prohibiting an "overwhelming majority" of laboratories from reporting private payer data.

The new reimbursement system will reduce how much Medicare pays for labs by about $670 million in 2018, according to the lawsuit which names Eric Hargan, the acting U.S. secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, as defendant.

Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings and Quest Diagnostics Inc., which previously criticized the new pricing structure, issued statements in support of the lawsuit.