The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has renewed the deeming authority of laboratory accreditation organization COLA, Columbia, Md, under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA). COLA is an ISO-certified private, nonprofit organization that accredits clinical laboratories nationwide.

The period of renewal is 6 years, the maximum period an accrediting organization can be given deeming authority before its next renewal period. COLA was approved to accredit the following CLIA-regulated specialties and subspecialties:

  • Chemistry, including endocrinology, routine chemistry, urinalysis, and yoxicology.
  • Diagnostic immunology, including general immunology and syphilis serology.
  • Hematology.
  • Immunohematology, including ABO grouping and Rh grouping, antibody detection, antibody identification, and compatibility testing.
  • Microbiology, including bacteriology, mycobacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology.

Nancy Stratton, COLA.

“The process for renewing our deeming authority is no small undertaking, and we are very pleased with the outcome,” says Nancy Stratton, CEO of COLA. “A number of years ago we decided to seek ISO certification. This internationally recognized standard, which includes a routine audit by a third-party reviewer, strengthens the consistency of our program, which is so vital to deeming reapproval and customer service excellence.”

COLA accredits clinical laboratories operating in many different settings, including ambulatory surgery centers, federally qualified health centers, health fairs, health maintenance organizations, healthcare systems, hospitals, independent laboratories, nursing facilities, physician offices, rural and community clinics, and student centers.

Kathy Nucifora

Kathy Nucifora, COLA.

“One of the things I strive for is to hire surveyors who have exceptional knowledge and depth of experience in a variety of healthcare settings,” says Kathy Nucifora, accreditation director at COLA. “This ensures that our team has a full appreciation of the context of the care setting in which the laboratory services are being provided while meeting our obligations under CLIA.”

COLA was first granted deeming status for providing laboratory accreditation in 1993. A leading laboratory accreditor in the United States, COLA is the only laboratory accreditation provider that operates its program in accordance with a quality management system certified under ISO 9001:2015. COLA’s ISO certification means that the organization offers its customers a unique, standardized program, and staff dedicated to satisfaction and laboratory quality.

COLA surveyors and technical advisors are guided by a coaching approach and uncomplicated quality engineered processes. Laboratories of all types and sizes are evaluated and mentored to produce accurate test results and meet CLIA regulations. As a physician-directed organization, COLA’s commitment to patients is unwavering and is central to the company’s long history and core mission.

For further information, visit COLA.