Summary of the 2006 College of American Pathologists Gynecologic Cytology Proficiency Testing Program (Cap Laboratory Improvement Programs) (Report)

Summary of the 2006 College of American Pathologists Gynecologic Cytology Proficiency Testing Program (Cap Laboratory Improvement Programs) (Report)

In the United States, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, routinely regulate laboratories that receive health care payments from CMS, including those facilities that perform gynecologic cytology examinations. To that end, the federal statute from the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments passed in 1988 (CLIA ’88) require the “periodic confirmation and evaluation of the proficiency of individuals involved in screening or interpreting cytological preparations, including announced and unannounced on-site proficiency testing (PT) of such individuals, with such testing to take place, to the extent practicable under normal working conditions.” (1) These provisions were enacted by the US Congress with the belief that they would ensure basic protection and accuracy of the gynecologic cytology tests on which millions of women depend. The regulations that implement this CLIA ’88 statutory provision require cytology laboratories and cytology professionals who examine gynecologic specimens to annually enroll in a CMS-approved PT program and that each individual practitioner achieve a passing score on a PT slide test. The periodic confirmation and evaluation of an individual’s proficiency has been problematic for CMS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the cytology profession. Implementation of a valid cytology PT by a nationwide provider has been delayed because of insufficient numbers of stringently referenced cytology testing materials; significant technical, logistical, and administrative difficulties; and concerns about the validity of the testing format (eg, grading scheme, periodicity, and emphasis on individual rather than laboratory performance). (2-7)

Summary of the 2006 College of American Pathologists Gynecologic Cytology Proficiency Testing Program (Cap Laboratory Improvement Programs) (Report)

Summary of the 2006 College of American Pathologists Gynecologic Cytology Proficiency Testing Program (Cap Laboratory Improvement Programs) (Report) | | 4.5