Members of the Senate on Wednesday cast a 69-30 vote to invoke cloture to allow consideration of The Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (HR 6331), then immediately passed the bill by unanimous consent. The President will now consider the legislation. 

The House passed HR 6331 on June 24 by a vote of 355-59.

The legislation reverses the 10.6% cut in physician reimbursements that took effect July 1, repeals the laboratory competitive bidding demonstration project, and extends the TC Grandfather clause for 18 months.

“This is a great day for laboratories and the Medicare beneficiaries who rely on critically important laboratory services,” said Alan Mertz, president of the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA). “We now urge President Bush to sign this much-needed legislation into law as soon as possible.”

ACLA has long [removed]opposed the controversial competitive bidding project[/removed]. The group has voiced concern for beneficiaries and says the project ignores the complexity of lab services and the differences in types of tests, and  imposes unworkable requirements.

The organization says the term competitive bidding is a misnomer, because the result would be less competition and lower quality of services.

ACLA represents local, regional, and national clinical labs nationwide and has been at the forefront of the campaign to repeal the Medicare competitive bidding demonstration project. It has also backed legislation that permanently extends the TC grandfather clause.