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January 21, 1998

Making the Most of Pap Testing

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, Calif, and Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

JAMA. 1998;279(3):240-241. doi:10.1001/jama.279.3.240

Following dramatic newspaper and television accounts that clinical laboratories often failed to detect abnormal Papanicolaou (Pap) smears, Congress amended the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) in 1988. CLIA '88 included provisions designed to reduce the false-negative rate for Pap smears by detecting and correcting deficiencies in laboratory procedures.1 Most laboratories have complied with the CLIA Pap smear requirements by taking a second look at ("rescreening") 10% of all Pap smears initially classified as "within normal limits."

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