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Public Statements

Taking Essential Steps for Testing Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. UPTON. Mr. Speaker, H.R. 6118, the Taking Essential Steps for Testing (TEST) Act of 2012, is an important measure that grants CMS the necessary flexibility to enforce its rules without unnecessarily punishing employers for unintentional acts.

Under current law, laboratories must adhere to CMS procedures for processing testing samples in order to do business under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) law. In addition, they are prohibited from intentionally referring testing samples to other labs.

Unfortunately, CMS is not allowed to look at the circumstances under which labs refer samples, and must levy the same penalties for those operating in good faith as those knowingly and willfully breaking the law. These penalties include the loss of a lab's certification for a year and a prohibition against the owner operating any lab for a period of two years.

In instances where a hospital or independent laboratory has accidentally referred a sample due to mistakes by employees or through automated systems, these penalties can be needlessly harsh and threaten the livelihood of American workers. H.R. 6118 would address these issues by allowing the Secretary discretion when determining penalties.

The legislation has received bipartisan support among this body as well as numerous organizations. I would like to commend Congressmen Grimm and Roskam for their work and urge Members to support its passage.

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