As used in this section, the term “laboratory” or “clinical laboratory” means a facility for the biological, microbiological, serological, chemical, immuno-hematological, hematological, biophysical, cytological, pathological, or other examination of materials derived from the human body for the purpose of providing information for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of any disease or impairment of, or the assessment of the health of, human beings.
No person may solicit or accept materials derived from the human body for laboratory examination or other procedure unless there is in effect for the laboratory a certificate issued by the Secretary under this section applicable to the category of examinations or procedures which includes such examination or procedure.
The Secretary may issue or renew a certificate for a laboratory only if the laboratory meets the requirements of subsection (d).
A certificate issued under this section shall be valid for a period of 2 years or such shorter period as the Secretary may establish.
If a laboratory makes changes in the examinations and other procedures performed by it only with respect to examinations and procedures which are described in paragraph (3), the laboratory shall report such changes to the Secretary not later than 6 months after the change has been put into effect. If a laboratory proposes to make changes in the examinations and procedures performed by it such that the laboratory will perform an examination or procedure not described in paragraph (3), the laboratory shall report such change to the Secretary before the change takes effect.
Subsections (f) and (g) shall not apply to a laboratory to which has been issued a certificate of waiver.
As used in this section, the term “certificate” includes a certificate of waiver issued under paragraph (2).
The Secretary shall promulgate criteria and procedures for approving an accreditation body and for withdrawing such approval if the Secretary determines that the accreditation body does not meet the requirements of subparagraph (A).
The Secretary shall establish standards for the proficiency testing programs for laboratories issued a certificate under this section which are conducted by the Secretary, conducted by an organization approved under subparagraph (C), or conducted by an approved accrediting body. The standards shall require that a laboratory issued a certificate under this section be tested for each examination and procedure conducted within a category of examinations or procedures for which it has received a certificate, except for examinations and procedures for which the Secretary has determined that a proficiency test cannot reasonably be developed. The testing shall be conducted on a quarterly basis, except where the Secretary determines for technical and scientific reasons that a particular examination or procedure may be tested less frequently (but not less often than twice per year).
The standards established under subparagraph (A) shall include uniform criteria for acceptable performance under a proficiency testing program, based on the available technology and the clinical relevance of the laboratory examination or other procedure subject to such program. The criteria shall be established for all examinations and procedures and shall be uniform for each examination and procedure. The standards shall also include a system for grading proficiency testing performance to determine whether a laboratory has performed acceptably for a particular quarter and acceptably for a particular examination or procedure or category of examination or procedure over a period of successive quarters.
For the purpose of administering proficiency testing programs which meet the standards established under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall approve a proficiency testing program offered by a private nonprofit organization or a State if the program meets the standards established under subparagraph (A) and the organization or State provides technical assistance to laboratories seeking to qualify under the program. The Secretary shall evaluate each program approved under this subparagraph annually to determine if the program continues to meet the standards established under subparagraph (A) and shall withdraw the approval of any program that no longer meets such standards.
The Secretary shall perform, or shall direct a program approved under subparagraph (C) to perform, onsite proficiency testing to assure compliance with the requirements of subsection (d)(5). The Secretary shall perform, on an onsite or other basis, proficiency testing to evaluate the performance of a proficiency testing program approved under subparagraph (C) and to assure quality performance by a laboratory.
The Secretary shall establish a system to make the results of the proficiency testing programs subject to the standards established by the Secretary under subparagraph (A) available, on a reasonable basis, upon request of any person. The Secretary shall include with results made available under this subparagraph such explanatory information as may be appropriate to assist in the interpretation of such results.
The Secretary shall establish national standards for quality assurance in cytology services designed to assure consistent performance by laboratories of valid and reliable cytological services.
The Secretary may, on an announced or unannounced basis, enter and inspect, during regular hours of operation, laboratories which have been issued a certificate under this section. In conducting such inspections the Secretary shall have access to all facilities, equipment, materials, records, and information that the Secretary determines have a bearing on whether the laboratory is being operated in accordance with this section. As part of such an inspection the Secretary may copy any such material or require to it 3
The Secretary shall conduct inspections of laboratories under paragraph (1) to determine their compliance with the requirements of subsection (d) and the standards issued under subsection (f). Inspections of laboratories not accredited under subsection (e) shall be conducted on a biennial basis or with such other frequency as the Secretary determines to be necessary to assure compliance with such requirements and standards. Inspections of laboratories accredited under subsection (e) shall be conducted on such basis as the Secretary determines is necessary to assure compliance with such requirements and standards.
If the Secretary determines that a laboratory which has been issued a certificate under this section no longer substantially meets the requirements for the issuance of a certificate, the Secretary may impose intermediate sanctions in lieu of the actions authorized by subsection (i).
The Secretary shall develop and implement procedures with respect to when and how each of the intermediate sanctions is to be imposed under paragraph (1). Such procedures shall provide for notice to the laboratory and a reasonable opportunity to respond to the proposed sanction and appropriate procedures for appealing determinations relating to the imposition of intermediate sanctions 4
No person who has owned or operated a laboratory which has had its certificate revoked may, within 2 years of the revocation of the certificate, own or operate a laboratory for which a certificate has been issued under this section, except that if the revocation occurs pursuant to paragraph (4) the Secretary may substitute intermediate sanctions under subsection (h) instead of the 2-year prohibition against ownership or operation which would otherwise apply under this paragraph. The certificate of a laboratory which has been excluded from participation under the medicare program under title XVIII of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.] because of actions relating to the quality of the laboratory shall be suspended for the period the laboratory is so excluded.
Any laboratory that the Secretary determines intentionally refers its proficiency testing samples to another laboratory for analysis may have its certificate revoked for at least one year and shall be subject to appropriate fines and penalties as provided for in subsection (h).
Whenever the Secretary has reason to believe that continuation of any activity by a laboratory would constitute a significant hazard to the public health the Secretary may bring suit in the district court of the United States for the district in which such laboratory is situated to enjoin continuation of such activity. Upon proper showing, a temporary injunction or restraining order against continuation of such activity pending issuance of a final order under this subsection shall be granted without bond by such court.
Any laboratory which has had an intermediate sanction imposed under subsection (h) or has had its certificate suspended, revoked, or limited under subsection (i) may, at any time within 60 days after the date the action of the Secretary under subsection (i) or (h) becomes final, file a petition with the United States court of appeals for the circuit wherein the laboratory has its principal place of business for judicial review of such action. As soon as practicable after receipt of the petition, the clerk of the court shall transmit a copy of the petition to the Secretary or other officer designated by the Secretary for that purpose. As soon as practicable after receipt of the copy, the Secretary shall file in the court the record on which the action of the Secretary is based, as provided in section 2112 of title 28.
If the petitioner applies to the court for leave to adduce additional evidence, and shows to the satisfaction of the court that such additional evidence is material and that there were reasonable grounds for the failure to adduce such evidence in the proceeding before the Secretary, the court may order such additional evidence (and evidence in rebuttal of such additional evidence) to be taken before the Secretary, and to be adduced upon the hearing in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as the court may deem proper. The Secretary may modify the findings of the Secretary as to the facts, or make new findings, by reason of the additional evidence so taken, and the Secretary shall file such modified or new findings, and the recommendations of the Secretary, if any, for the modification or setting aside of his original action, with the return of such additional evidence.
Upon the filing of the petition referred to in paragraph (1), the court shall have jurisdiction to affirm the action, or to set it aside in whole or in part, temporarily or permanently. The findings of the Secretary as to the facts, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive.
The judgment of the court affirming or setting aside, in whole or in part, any such action of the Secretary shall be final, subject to review by the Supreme Court of the United States upon certiorari or certification as provided in section 1254 of title 28.
Any person who intentionally violates any requirement of this section or any regulation promulgated thereunder shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined under title 18, or both, except that if the conviction is for a second or subsequent violation of such a requirement such person shall be imprisoned for not more than 3 years or fined in accordance with title 18, or both.
The Secretary shall require payment of fees for the issuance and renewal of certificates, except that the Secretary shall only require a nominal fee for the issuance and renewal of certificates of waiver.
The Secretary shall require the payment of fees for inspections of laboratories which are not accredited and for the cost of performing proficiency testing on laboratories which do not participate in proficiency testing programs approved under subsection (f)(3)(C).
Fees imposed under paragraph (1) shall be sufficient to cover the general costs of administering this section, including evaluating and monitoring proficiency testing programs approved under subsection (f) and accrediting bodies and implementing and monitoring compliance with the requirements of this section.
Fees imposed under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall vary by group or classification of laboratory, based on such considerations as the Secretary determines are relevant, which may include the dollar volume and scope of the testing being performed by the laboratories.
In carrying out this section, the Secretary may, pursuant to agreement, use the services or facilities of any Federal or State or local public agency or nonprofit private organization, and may pay therefor in advance or by way of reimbursement, and in such installments, as the Secretary may determine.
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall consult with appropriate private organizations and public agencies.