The Clarion-Ledger, 8/5/8

Lawmakers failed Monday during a special legislative session to bail out the state Public Health Lab, causing health officials to scramble for solutions.

The lab processes more than 600,000 specimens a year, and unless health officials appeal, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is set to revoke the lab’s license Aug. 25.

CMS told Mississippi health officials on June 25 that it would seek to revoke the lab’s license for up to two years for violating protocol on lab tests.

House Bill 22 would have established the Mississippi Public Health Laboratory as a new administrative unit of the state Department of Health, distinguishing it from the lab now facing loss of certification. The bill also would have established a special fund in the state treasury for the lab’s operation with deposits from fees and other income the lab generated.