Public Health Laboratories and Health System Change . Federal Government Role in PHL Activities


Various federal government agencies are currently involved, directly or indirectly, in clinical laboratory issues. From direct oversight of the quality of clinical laboratories to coordination of disease reporting efforts, federal agencies play a vital role in the practices of PHLs. At the present time, the CDC and FDA work most closely with PHLs and have established relationships with PHLs. The EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also have smaller, indirect roles in PHL activities, and the Health Care Financing Administration(now known as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS)) (HCFA(now known as CMS)) and the CDC play an important role in maintaining quality standards for all clinical laboratories through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment of 1988. This section reviews the current role of the federal government in PHL-related issues.