Representative Bill Pascrell Jr. recently introduced a bill in Congress that aims to expand Medicare test coverage. The legislation, titled “Medicare Laboratory Access and Transparency Act,” would allow Medicare beneficiaries to access innovative diagnostic tests that could lead to earlier diagnoses and more effective treatments for a variety of medical conditions.
Under the current Medicare system, there are significant barriers to accessing the latest diagnostic tests. This can result in delayed or inaccurate diagnoses, missed treatment opportunities, and increased healthcare costs. Representative Pascrell’s bill seeks to address these issues by creating a pathway for Medicare to cover new diagnostic tests that meet certain criteria.
The proposed legislation would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to establish a process for reviewing and approving new diagnostic tests. This process would take into account factors such as the clinical utility of the test, its analytical validity, and the impact on patient outcomes.
Additionally, the bill would establish a Medicare Laboratory Test Formulary that would include diagnostic tests that meet the established criteria. Medicare beneficiaries would be able to access these tests without having to pay out-of-pocket costs.
Representative Pascrell stated that “by expanding access to innovative diagnostic tests, we can help patients receive timely and accurate diagnoses and treatments, which can lead to better health outcomes and lower healthcare costs in the long run.”
The proposed legislation has received support from various healthcare organizations, including the American Clinical Laboratory Association and the National Patient Advocate Foundation.
As the bill moves through the legislative process, Representative Pascrell hopes to continue building support for expanding Medicare test coverage and improving access to high-quality healthcare for all Americans.