NCL and 36 leading patient organizations urge Congress to protect access to essential laboratory tests

June 7, 2023

Media contact: National Consumers League – Melody Merin,, 202-207-2831

Washington, D.C.— June 7, 2023 The National Consumers League (NCL) today sent a letter signed by 37 leading advocacy organizations, including groups that represent patients with common and chronic conditions who depend on laboratory testing to manage their health, urging Senate and House leaders to protect access to clinical laboratory services by enacting the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA / H.R. 2377 / S. 1000) this year.

“Without congressional action this year, Medicare reimbursement cuts scheduled for January 2024 could limit access to essential tests that 65 million American seniors rely on to diagnose and manage disease,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL Chief Executive Officer. “The Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act would help ensure robust access to laboratory services that improve patient health.”

Highlights from the letter include:

  • “Without congressional action, Medicare reimbursement cuts – a fourth round scheduled to begin January 1, 2024 – could jeopardize access to many clinical laboratory tests that are used to diagnose, monitor, prevent, and manage common diseases for Medicare beneficiaries.”
  • “Clinical diagnostic tests play a critical role in health care by informing 70 percent of medical decisions doctors and other health care providers make to care for patients. For example, in 2020 care for Medicare beneficiaries was supported by more than 17 million hemoglobin A1C tests that assessed diabetes risk, 28 million tests that diagnosed and monitored heart disease, and 90,000 tests that diagnosed leukemia and hereditary breast and colon cancer.”
  • “A strong, national laboratory infrastructure is critical to ensuring that testing can be rapidly developed and made widely available when pathogens of concern are identified. Simply put, clinical laboratories strive to be prepared for whatever the next infectious disease outbreak may be and in times of emergency are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure.”
  • “Between 2017 and 2022, payment for some common tests for diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease were cut by 27 percent. The next round of Medicare cuts would lower reimbursement up to another 15 percent for about 800 laboratory tests widely used to screen and manage many serious diseases. It is essential that Congress protect patients by acting this year to fix the Medicare payment model for clinical diagnostic tests.”
  • “Because of the serious implications for patients who rely on routine as well as advanced diagnostic laboratory services, Congress has acted three times to delay these cuts in recent years, but permanent reform is needed now. Fortunately, the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act would update Medicare’s payment system, which would help protect access to clinical laboratory testing, support investment in innovation, and strengthen America’s clinical laboratory infrastructure.”

Below is the list of signatories:

  • A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation
  • AliveAndKickn
  • Alliance for Aging Research
  • Alliance for Women’s Health and Prevention
  • American Association of Kidney Patients
  • American Sexual Health Association
  • AnCan
  • Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • CancerCare
  • Cancer Support Community
  • Caregiver Action Network
  • Caring Across Generations
  • Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation
  • Chronic Disease Coalition
  • Community Liver Alliance
  • Down Syndrome Association of Orange County
  • FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered
  • Global Liver Institute
  • GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer
  • HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ)
  • Healthcare Leadership Council
  • Healthy Men Inc.
  • HealthyWomen
  • ICAN, International Cancer Advocacy Network
  • International Foundation for Autoimmune & Autoinflammatory Arthritis
  • The Latino Coalition
  • LUNGevity Foundation
  • Lupus and Allied Diseases Association, Inc.
  • Men’s Health Network
  • Minority Health Institute
  • The National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration
  • National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions
  • National Consumers League
  • The National Grange
  • RetireSafe
  • Triage Cancer
  • Vasculitis Foundation

Click here to view the full letter.


About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit