09.02.20 Legislature passes bill to keep laboratory jobs based in California

Excerpted from OC Breeze

In an effort to keep high-paying jobs in the state and maintain a robust laboratory force to provide COVID-19 testing, the Legislature has passed Assembly Bill 1327 with bipartisan support.

Congressional action in 2018 upended the intent of California’s 2012 Budget Act which maintained a California market-based method to determine the fee-for-service Medi-Cal reimbursement rate for lab services. The result is an automatic cut to our carefully calculated Medi-Cal lab rates. By removing the cap, California labs can avoid this federally triggered cut and operate how the state originally intended them to do so.

“When I heard that laboratories were considering moving out-of-state to conduct their services at lower rates, I convened meetings with the Department of Health Care Services and businesses to ensure these quality jobs and services stay in California,” said AB 1327 Author Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “Laboratories provide 75,826 jobs in California and we must keep them here in order to support the health and economy of our state throughout COVID-19.”

“AB 1327 will help Medi-Cal patients maintain access to important clinical laboratory tests,” said Kristi Foy of the California Clinical Laboratory Association. “The bill will also allow laboratories to increase testing for COVID-19, while expanding infrastructure to accommodate the expected increase in testing due to the upcoming flu season.”