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The Coalition to Preserve Access to Cancer Diagnostic Services is an alliance of anatomic pathology (AP) laboratories, pathologists, and allied organizations. The mission of the Coalition is to align assets, thought leadership, and the needs of patients to impact change in Medicare anatomical pathology coding.

On July 8, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a cap on 200 different service codes under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.  The cap will limit Medicare payments to the rates paid to hospitals under their payment system.  Medicare payments will be cut by 26% on average.  Some of the most common AP services will be cut by nearly 75%.

The work of anatomic pathology labs is the foundation of oncology treatment. The CMS cuts will impact the potential diagnosis and treatment for the top diagnoses performed by AP labs:

  • skin cancers and melanoma
  • prostate cancer
  • colorectal and esophageal cancers
  • and many other forms of cancer

The mission of The Coalition to Preserve Access to Cancer Diagnostic Services is simple: retain quality of patient care by providing adequate access to anatomic pathology. This is accomplished by directing CMS to reject an arbitrary payment cap and instead to calculate appropriate payment for anatomic pathology procedures through a transparent data-based process.

Additional members are needed to co-sign a CMS comment letter and join a meeting with CMS officials (to be scheduled in September). The Coalition is supported in its mission by the legislative and regulatory advocacy team, National Health Advisors.

Prospective coalition members may join or direct questions to:

Philo Hall, National Health Advisors: 202-861-1382;

Maura Farrell, National Health Advisors: 202-486-8399;

Take action—contact your U.S. Senator and Representative: Find your Senator and Representative by zip code and access their Web pages for e-mail instructions.  Click here to download a sample letter (WORD).

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