College of American Pathologists

  Press Release


Published on January 15, 2009

Contact: Justin Herman
Phone: 202-354-7127

CAP Statement on CMS’s Proposed Changes to the Cytology Proficiency Testing Program

Washington, D.C.—The proposed rule announced today, recommending changes to the Cytology PT program, comes almost four years after the College and other pathology societies first appealed to CMS to initiate changes to a program that was clearly scientifically flawed and out-of-date.

The lengthy passage of time to propose these changes demonstrates the need for a different approach that makes it easier for proficiency testing programs to be modified to keep pace with changing medical science.

The College believes the regulation is fatally flawed, and the proposed changes do not go far enough to correct these flaws.

The College and its 60+ partners in the Cytology PT Coalition rallied and garnered significant bi-partisan support in the 110th Congress for alternative legislation that would have corrected the self evident shortcomings of the current regulatory schema.

This new legislation laid the foundation for an appropriate and preferred pathway to correcting the current program, and was widely viewed as a workable solution, evidenced by its passage in the House and the support of 43 Senate co-sponsors before the session closed.

The College along with its coalition partners will analyze the proposed regulation and will comment within the 60-day time period.

The College of American Pathologists is a medical society serving more than 17,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world. It is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of pathologists and is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The College is an advocate for high-quality and cost-effective medical care.