CMS to Rescind Physician Signature Requirement; CMS’ Change in Policy Illustrates the Power of Grassroots Advocacy

| February 13, 2011

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is pleased to announce that it has learned that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is planning to rescind its recent rule requiring a physician's signature on requisitions for laboratory tests reimbursed under the Medicare clinical laboratory fee schedule. The CMS rule proved very controversial and prompted not only the collective opposition of the entire laboratory coalition but also the American Medical Association and a number of other medical specialty societies.

ASCP, in tandem with its partners in the Clinical Laboratory Coalition, mounted an aggressive campaign to protest the proposal. ASCP launched two separate advocacy campaigns on the rule. The first campaign let CMS know directly the concerns of ASCP members, while the second campaign was intended to encourage members of Congress to contact CMS in opposition to the rule. In total, ASCP members wrote more than 2,000 letters in opposition to the rule. CMS received a loud and clear message from Congress today as the agency received a letter from 89 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and another letter from more than 30 U.S. Senators.

In announcing the agency's intent to withdraw the rule, it was mentioned that the agency would officially withdraw the rule well in advance of the April 1 date that the rule was supposed to go into effect. For more information on the rule, click here.


Category: Pathology News

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  1. I am in the process of trying to pick a CMS for a new website and this article came in very handy. Thank you so much.