Information from Ally’s recent trip to Washington, DC to advocate for our profession with the guidance of the Legislative Symposium The Legislative Symposium is an annual event. The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) is proud to work with the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), American Genetics Technologists (AGT), and the American Medical Technologists (AMT) on the Legislative Symposium each year.
Though this ASCLS tradition that originated in 1989, the members of these organizations meet with their Representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill as a unified front on behalf of our profession. Each year these leading organizations urge their members and leaders to come to Washington to provide a visible and informed voice, and make our concerns known inside Congress.
Ally was fortunate to be able to lobby alongside American Medical Technologist (AMT) Georgia Society President Marvin and AMT Georgia President Elect William in the Senate offices of Senator Perdue and Senator Isakson on behalf of Georgia. We also visited 6 Georgia Congressional Offices, if not for limited time we would have visited all of Georgia’s congressional offices. The 3 issues discussed this year are attached as PDFs. The number one issue concerns Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) and recalculating the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) and the concerns are included on the briefing. The bottom line for PAMA is that we are requesting a delay as there are many problems with the way PAMA is currently proposed that it will not provide accurate data for calculating the CLFS as Congress had originally intended and that the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) has not been clear regarding which hospitals must report data and which are exempt. A delay will allow more time to fix the many troubling issues of this legislation. If PAMA carries forward in its current state it will mean reduced reimbursement for laboratories and many rural laboratories are especially likely to suffer. These cuts will only worsen the clinical laboratories’ short staffing troubles. The second briefing addresses the clinical laboratory workforce shortage which we are all no strangers to and the final briefing addresses concerns about the FDA ruling on Laboratory Developed Tests (LDT). ASCLS has added an action center to its website to facilitate contacting Senators and Congressmen which represent you. Senator Isakson’s legislative assistant who works specifically with healthcare issues informed us that Washington relies heavily on its constituents to learn what is going on. No one knows this field like we do and if we don’t advocate for it no one is going to do it for us. If these issues concern you please take a moment to share the issue briefs with your representatives.
Find your representative and share the 2017 Legislative Issue Leave Behinds here: