Centers for Disease Control Should Charge Fees for Various Diagnostic Laboratory Services

HRD-82-70: Published: Aug 11, 1982. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the extent to which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) should be recovering the costs of diagnostic laboratory services provided to non-federal organizations and federal agencies. The review focused on certain CDC laboratory services that GAO believed had provided special benefits to the clinical laboratory industry and on similar services provided to other federal agencies.

CDC should recover substantial amounts of incurred costs by imposing additional user charges for various diagnostic laboratory services that it provides to federal agencies and non-federal organizations such as diagnostic product manufacturers and clinical laboratories. These laboratory services include field testing of diagnostic products, evaluating lot samples of diagnostic reagents, providing reference reagents to manufacturers, evaluating the quality of diagnostic testing services provided by laboratories, and providing laboratory training services. GAO estimated that, under current legislative authority, CDC could have collected about $2.1 million in additional revenues from non-federal entities in fiscal year 1982. If CDC had not been restricted by another statute which imposes a maximum fee on interstate laboratories, an additional estimated $650,000 could have been recovered. Further, CDC could have sought additional reimbursements from other federal agencies for which it provided some of these services.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: HHS did not concur with this recommendation but its 1985 budget submission estimated $2 million receipts from user fees. The House Appropriations Committee opposed this and deleted the user fees provision.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of HHS should require the Director of CDC to charge laboratory product manufacturers for providing reference reagents.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: HHS did not concur with this recommendation but its 1985 budget submission estimated $2 million receipts from user fees. The House Appropriations Committee opposed this and deleted the user fee provision.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of HHS should require the Director of CDC to determine the extent to which other non-federal recipients of CDC laboratory services should be charged by applying the specific provisions of the User Charge Statute and OMB Circular A-25.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of HHS should require the Director of CDC to charge federal agencies for laboratory training.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: HHS did not concur with this recommendation but its 1985 budget submission estimated $2 million receipts from user fees. The House Appropriations Committee opposed this and deleted the user fee provision.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of HHS should require the Director of CDC to charge laboratory product manufacturers for evaluating lot samples of commercially available diagnostic reagents.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: HHS did not concur with this recommendation but its 1985 budget submission estimated $2 million receipts from user fees. The House Appropriations Committee opposed this and deleted the user fee provision.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of HHS should require the Director of CDC to charge clinical laboratories, other than interstate laboratories, and federal agencies for proficiency testing.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of HHS should require the Director of CDC to adjust charges for laboratory training to reflect all current costs and later review and adjust such costs annually.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  7. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: HHS did not concur with this recommendation but its 1985 budget submission estimated $2 million receipts from user fees. The House Appropriations Committee opposed this and deleted the user fee provision.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of HHS should require the Director of CDC to charge laboratory product manufacturers for field testing laboratory diagnostic products.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  8. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: HHS did not concur with this recommendation but its 1985 budget submission estimated $2 million receipts from user fees. The House Appropriations Committee opposed this and deleted the user fee provision.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of HHS should propose legislation to permit the recovery of total costs for licensing services, including proficiency testing, provided under the Clinical Laboratories Improvement Act.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

 

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