The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has renewed deeming authority for Columbia-based COLA, a private, nonprofit laboratory accreditation organization accrediting clinical laboratories nationwide, for another six years under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA 88).

Six years is the maximum period an accrediting organization can be given deeming authority before its next renewal period. COLA was approved to accredit the following CLIA-regulated specialties and subspecialties: Microbiology, including Bacteriology, Mycobacteriology, Mycology, Parasitology, and Virology; Diagnostic Immunology, including Syphilis Serology and General Immunology; Chemistry, including Routine Chemistry, Urinalysis, Endocrinology, and Toxicology; Hematology; and Immunohematology, including ABO Group and Rh Group, Antibody Detection, Antibody Identification and Compatibility Testing.

COLA accredits clinical laboratories operating in many different settings including hospitals, physician offices, rural and community clinics, student centers, health fairs, ambulatory surgery centers, health maintenance organizations, health care systems, federally qualified health centers, and nursing facilities, as well as independent laboratories.