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Legislative Update

Grassroots Campaign- AMT joined many other lab organizations in an email blast asking members to write letters or contact their Congressmen and Senators to urge PAMA reforms. Contacts are especially critical if you are represented by a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, House Energy and Commerce Committee or Senate Finance Committee. There is also a lawsuit against HHS over this issue filed by American Clinical Lab Association (ACLA).

Harmonization of Lab test results –After several years of lobbying for federal funding, the lab community finally was awarded with a Congressional appropriation to support a public-private initiative to “harmonize lab test result values. The problem currently is that test result normal may vary depending on the instrument or method/chemicals used to obtain the results. Therefore a Doctor may be confused and misinterpret the results. This would be an effort to harmonize results regardless of instrumentation or methodology used.

Laboratory Developed Tests (LDT) – The FDA has rewritten the guidelines establishing an entirely new rick-based legislative framework. The draft would bring labs and manufacturers under the same criteria for submitting applications for new tests and give FDA new powers to withdraw approval of a diagnostic test if it poses ricks to public health.

State Legislative actions – California AB 608 – would expand the ‘technical supportive services” that a medical assistant is authorized to perform. See Mike McCarty’s fall Legislative report for full details.

California AB 2281 – Signed into law by Governor Brown expands the legal scope of practice of medical lab technicians licensed in California. In addition to allowing waved and moderately complex testing, it allows MLT’s to perform blood smear reviews, microscopic urinalysis and blood typing and antibody screening. They still can’t do any complex testing under the law.

New York AB 9966- Signed into law allows MT’s and MLT’s to practice under a provisional permit while completing educational or certification requirements for full licensure. The permit is for one year but may be renewed for one additional year.

Arizona and Montana Medical Assistant Rule Revision – AMT submitted formal comments suggesting that the board recognize voluntary medical  assistant certifications awarded by accredited certifying organizations (including the RMA/AMT) as one factor an employer may rely upon in determining that the MA possess the required education, training, knowledge, and skill to perform delegated duties. AMT also proposed some changes to the external listing of tasks a MA is authorized to perform under proper supervision.

Respectfully Submitted by:

John W. Sherer, MT(AMT)
Former National AMT Legislative Chair