Medicare Patient Co-Pay for Clinical Laboratory Tests Considered in Federal Cost-Cutting Negotiations

A document first leaked by Kaiser Health News last week shed light on some cost-cutting measures being considered in part of the federal debt ceiling negotiations.  Spending cuts over the next 10 years totaling $334 – $353 billion were on the table.

For those in the clinical laboratory industry, some of the proposed cuts would have a direct impact on your operations.  Number 6 on the list of 27 federal healthcare budget cuts is the reinstatement of the Medicare patient co-pay for medical laboratory testing.  This represents an estimated $8.5 to $16 billion dollars of cut government funding for services in your industry over the next 10 years.

In 1988, the laboratory testing industry agreed to lower prices on the lab test fee schedule in exchange for the cutting of the Medicare co-pay requirement.  Since then, the restoration of the co-pay has been considered, but always eventually rejected due to the fact that cost of collecting would often exceed the co-payment itself.

If your organization is concerned about how future federal budget cuts may impact your bottom line, consider other opportunities to increase revenue.  Colaborate is a full-service laboratory consulting company that has decades of expertise in improving the fiscal efficiencies of laboratories.  Typical services include billing management, outreach development, and strategic planning services.  Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your organization overcome ever growing financial challenges.

By Kevin Hunter