Published on June 27, 2006
CAP Responds to GAO Report on Laboratory Quality
Washington, D.C.—The College of American Pathologists (CAP) testified today before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources regarding a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on laboratory quality.
“We initiated a thorough review of our laboratory accreditation program two years ago as part of our ongoing commitment to laboratory quality,” said Thomas M. Sodeman, MD, FCAP, president of the CAP. “The review resulted in a series of initiatives that we announced last fall, which were designed to enhance the effectiveness and consistency of our inspections as well as reassure the public about the objectivity of our accreditation process. We are pleased to see these improvements acknowledged by the GAO in its report.”
The improvements include:
- Moving to unannounced inspections in 2006
- Enhanced and required training for all CAP inspectors
- Mandatory signage for all CAP labs to facilitate reporting of quality complaints
- Strengthened conflict of interest policies
- Spending $9 million to develop an integrated data system to assess laboratory quality
“We have appreciated the opportunity to work with the GAO on the development of this report, and we take the findings very seriously. We will analyze the report to assess if there are any additional steps that the College needs to take to address issues identified as areas of concern regarding our accreditation program. We look forward to working with Congress, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, other oversight entities and accrediting organizations on ways to ensure laboratory quality,” Dr. Sodeman concluded.
A copy of the CAP testimony is available on the CAP Web site (PDF, 59 K).
The College of American Pathologists (CAP) is a medical society serving about 16,000 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 CAP is an advocate for high quality and cost-effective patient care.