The OIG has issued a report on Variation in the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule,” in which the OIG recommends that CMS seek legislative authority to establish a new process for setting laboratory test payment rates. According to the OIG, 97% of lab tests had at least one carrier rate that varied from the national limit amount. Setting all carrier rates at 73% of the median carrier rate (rather than the current 74% rate) would have eliminated variation without a change in overall Medicare payments. CMS stated that it is committed to improving payment policies for lab tests and to refining methodologies for setting new payment rates, and it will consider the OIG’s recommendation (although it did not endorse the measure at this time).