Tests performed in the laboratories of AMP members have had a significant impact on the understanding and treatment of chronic conditions such as HIV, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, inherited genetic diseases and many others. Looking ahead, many of these tests and those yet to be developed will be instrumental in making medicine more predictive, preventive and cost effective.

AMP supports efforts to achieve comprehensive health care reform, to make the health care system more efficient and to improve the quality of patient care. Consistent with these goals, AMP encourages Congress and President Obama’s administration to adopt measures that will strengthen the practice of laboratory medicine and the availability of laboratory tests to patients. Specifically, AMP encourages the adoption of the following principles:

I. Clinical laboratory testing should be part of the covered benefits in all health plans.

II. Clinical laboratory tests should receive appropriate reimbursement commensurate with the added value and savings they contribute to health care delivery.

III. Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER). Not surprisingly, policy makers are looking to determine the most effective manner to balance the cost of tests and treatments with patient care outcomes. As molecular-based laboratory tests are considered in this matrix, it is vital to strike the right balance between the short-term considerations of cost and the longer term value of these tests in optimizing patient care.

IV. Preventive and early diagnostic laboratory services are a critical component of true health reform and should be covered in all health plans. A key tenet of health care reform must be to elevate the importance of screening, wellness and prevention programs. This would result in significant savings to the health systems and a better quality of life for millions of Americans.

V. Balanced Regulation and Oversight. Efforts to enact health care reform should accelerate personalized medicine with a simultaneous commitment to regulatory balance that will allow progress and innovation in clinical laboratory testing to continue and not place needless burdens on this now well-regulated practice.