A new report from the Association for Molecular Pathology offers recommendations to improve clinical trial economics and inform national preparedness strategies for future public health emergencies

Newswise – ROCKVILLE, Maryland – April 19, 2022 – The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP), the world’s leading professional molecular diagnostic society, today released a report titled “Economics of clinical testing during a public health emergency: lessons from two years of COVID-19.” The detailed assessment reflects the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, dissects various coding, coverage and pricing policies, and provides 15 recommendations to help prevent or at least mitigate these same economic challenges in the future.

An effective response to the pandemic requires laboratories, manufacturers, policymakers and insurers to be agile and adapt to a rapidly changing landscape. Clinical laboratories have been hampered by uncertain or ineffective action to address economic issues as diagnostic testing was one of the few health measures available to inform behavior and mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus. The policy measures either lacked the appropriate contribution or generally did not provide the assurance of economic stability necessary for laboratories to support their role in protecting the health of Americans during the public health emergency. To help ensure that reactionary policies do not have unintended, negative consequences, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) must engage laboratory stakeholders early and across the spectrum of care delivery environments before laboratory policies are implemented.

“For the past two years, clinical laboratories across the country have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, doing their best to meet a relentless and extremely unpredictable demand for molecular diagnostic testing. Operational constraints to meet the needs of the public have been compounded by financial uncertainties resulting from challenges in coding, pricing and coverage systems,” said Samuel K. Caughron MD, Chairman of AMP’s Economic Affairs Committee and President and CEO of MAWD Pathology Group. . “AMP decided to develop this report to share key lessons learned and offer strategic recommendations to improve our nation’s awareness and ability to respond to future public health emergencies in order to protect the well-being of all our patients.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, AMP has worked to meet the training, clinical practice and advocacy needs of its members. This latest economic assessment will be crucial in providing detailed retrospective analysis to inform future discussions with payers, federal agencies, and members of Congress. AMP will continue to work actively with numerous professional organizations as part of its ongoing commitment to informing and influencing public policy that ensures fair and reasonable reimbursement to qualified healthcare professionals providing high quality molecular diagnostic services.

To read the full report, please visit: https://www.amp.org/advocacy/economics-of-testing-during-a-public-health-emergency-lessons-learned-from-two-years-of-covid-19/.

ABOUT AMP

The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) was founded in 1995 to provide structure and leadership to the emerging field of molecular diagnostics. AMP’s more than 2,500 members practice various disciplines of molecular diagnostics, including bioinformatics, infectious disease, hereditary disease, and oncology. Our members are pathologists, clinical laboratory directors, basic and translational scientists, technologists, and trainees who practice in a variety of settings, including academic and community medical centers, government, and industry. Through the efforts of its Board of Directors, Committees, Task Forces and Members, AMP is the premier resource for expertise, training and collaboration in any of the health care fields that is experiencing the fastest growth. AMP members influence policy and regulation nationally and internationally, ultimately serving to advance innovation in the field and protect patient access to appropriate, high-quality testing. For more information, visit www.amp.org and follow AMP on Twitter: @AMPath.

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