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Amendments to CLIA’s Proficiency Testing Provisions Passed by Congress

The Senate approved the previously House-passed Taking Essential Steps for Testing Act  (also known as the “TEST Act”) this week, clearing the way for President Obama’s signature and enactment.  The legislation, which amends a provision of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), makes clear that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has the authority to impose intermediate sanctions instead of revoking the CLIA certificate of a laboratory that has referred a proficiency testing sample to another laboratory. 

The TEST Act was introduced by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), and it quickly gained wide bipartisan support.  According to the American Clinical Laboratory Association, “[t]he bill grants [CMS] much-needed discretion so that clinical laboratories will not have their CLIA certificates revoked for the unintentional referral of proficiency testing samples to other laboratories.”   The legislation also received support from the College of American Pathologists.

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About this Author

Karen Lovitch, health care, Medicare, Compliance, Licensing, MIntz Levin

Karen is the Practice Leader of the firm’s Health Law Practice. She counsels health care clients on regulatory, transactional, and operational issues, including Medicare coverage and reimbursement, the development and implementation of health care compliance programs, and licensure and certification matters. In addition, Karen advises clients on the legal, practical, and fraud and abuse implications of business arrangements and sales and marketing practices. Her experience includes matters related to the anti-kickback statute, the Stark law, state statutes prohibiting kickbacks and self-...