Understanding CLIA CMS Evidence of Correction

The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) are regulatory standards that apply to all U.S. facilities or sites that test human specimens for health assessment or to diagnose, prevent, or treat disease. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) oversees the implementation of these standards to ensure quality laboratory testing. One critical aspect of maintaining CLIA compliance is the "Evidence of Correction" process, which laboratories must follow after an inspection identifies deficiencies.

What is CLIA CMS Evidence of Correction?

When a CLIA-certified laboratory undergoes a routine inspection or is reviewed following a complaint, inspectors may identify deficiencies that need correction. These deficiencies range from minor procedural errors to significant lapses that could impact patient safety. "Evidence of Correction" refers to the documentation and actions a laboratory submits to CMS to prove that it has corrected these deficiencies.

Why is Evidence of Correction Important?

Evidence of Correction is crucial for several reasons:

  • Ensuring Quality and Safety: It confirms that the laboratory has taken steps to rectify issues, maintaining the high standards necessary for accurate and reliable test results.

  • Regulatory Compliance: Submitting Evidence of Correction is a requirement for maintaining CLIA certification. Failure to adequately correct deficiencies can lead to penalties, including suspension or revocation of the certification.

  • Trust and Credibility: By addressing deficiencies promptly and thoroughly, laboratories demonstrate their commitment to quality care, thereby maintaining the trust of patients and healthcare providers.

How to Prepare and Submit Evidence of Correction

  1. Review the Deficiency Report: Understand the specific deficiencies noted during the inspection. This report is usually detailed, providing exact areas where the laboratory failed to meet CLIA standards.

  2. Develop a Corrective Action Plan: For each deficiency, outline a corrective action plan. This plan should include specific steps to address the root cause of the deficiency, responsible personnel, and timelines for implementation.

  3. Implement the Corrective Actions: Execute the plan, ensuring that all steps are followed and documented. This might involve retraining staff, updating procedures, or improving quality control measures.

  4. Document the Corrections: Collect evidence that the corrective actions have been implemented. This could include revised procedures, training records, quality control logs, or other relevant documentation.

  5. Submit the Evidence to CMS: Follow CMS guidelines for submitting the Evidence of Correction. This usually involves sending the corrective action plan and supporting documentation to the appropriate CMS office or via their designated online portal.

Best Practices for Maintaining Compliance

  • Continuous Quality Improvement: Regularly review and update laboratory procedures and practices to prevent deficiencies.

  • Training and Education: Ensure that all laboratory personnel are up-to-date on CLIA standards and any changes to regulations.

  • Internal Audits: Conduct periodic internal audits to identify potential issues before they are flagged during external inspections.


For laboratories, maintaining CLIA compliance is not just about meeting regulatory requirements; it's about ensuring the highest quality of patient care. Prompt and thorough Evidence of Correction is a key part of this process, demonstrating a laboratory's dedication to excellence and continuous improvement.