(a) Each laboratory performing nonwaived testing must successfully participate in a proficiency testing program approved by CMS, if applicable, as described in subpart I of this part for each specialty, subspecialty, and analyte or test in which the laboratory is certified under CLIA.
(b) Except as specified in paragraph (c) of this section, if a laboratory fails to participate successfully in proficiency testing for a given specialty, subspecialty, analyte or test, as defined in this section, or fails to take remedial action when an individual fails gynecologic cytology, CMS imposes sanctions, as specified in subpart R of this part.
(c) If a laboratory fails to perform successfully in a CMS-approved proficiency testing program, for the initial unsuccessful performance, CMS may direct the laboratory to undertake training of its personnel or to obtain technical assistance, or both, rather than imposing alternative or principle sanctions except when one or more of the following conditions exists:
(1) There is immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety.
(2) The laboratory fails to provide CMS or a CMS agent with satisfactory evidence that it has taken steps to correct the problem identified by the unsuccessful proficiency testing performance.
(3) The laboratory has a poor compliance history.