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April 18, 1990

Federal Officials Hearing Plenty (of Opposition) During Comment Period on New Laboratory Rules

JAMA. 1990;263(15):2023-2027. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440150013004

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FINAL RULES issued by the federal government, aimed at further regulating cytology laboratories and cytology professionals, appear to be close to the last straw for leaders of their specialty organizations.

At this year's joint spring meeting in San Francisco, Calif, the American Society of Clinical Pathologists' (ASCP) president, George D. Lundberg, MD, and the College of American Pathologists' (CAP) president, Loyd R. Wagner, MD, spoke out against the recently promulgated proficiency requirements for those engaged in detecting abnormalities in Papanicolaou smears.

"A strong backlash is beginning to develop," Lundberg says, "among leaders in the professional laboratory community against the dictatorial tactics of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Health Care Financing Administration [HCFA], particularly in relation to its recent issuing of these final rules. While HCFA spokespersons admit that there is no scientific basis for claiming that the type or frequency of proficiency testing that they have