ASM submitted comments to CMS on payment for new codes which will be included in the 2018 Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS). New codes considered included detection of antibiotic resistance genes and new antibody and PCR tests for Zika.

ASM has joined other societies with expertise in diagnostic testing in a letter addressing the Palmetto Draft Local Coverage Determination of Panels Identified by Multiplex Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs). Palmetto, a contractor in the Southeast US for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, has indicated that it will not reimburse syndromic panels for identification  of respiratory and gastrointestinal pathogens.  ASM and co-signers indicate clear uses of these panels in improving patient care in the letters, submitted on July 20.

Christopher Doern and Duane Newton, members of the Public and Scientific Affairs Board, Laboratory Practices Committee authored the white paper “Clinical Utility of Multiplex Tests for Respiratory and Gastrointestinal Pathogens.”  The expanded availability of molecular methods for detection of pathogens directly in clinical specimens is changing the paradigm for diagnosis and management of patients with infectious diseases.  This paper describes the benefits and clinical value of multiplex molecular diagnostic panels.