The Legislative Symposium is quickly approaching. This is a description of the legislative activities ASCLS conducts for members all year round.This information is for new members or those who wonder what legislative activities, if any, ASCLS participates in that benefit the laboratory.
Briefly, Legislative Day is a two day symposium in Washington D.C. that addresses current legislative and regulatory issues that affect the profession. The Legislative Symposium has been going strong since 1989; this year the symposium will be March 16-17, 2015. The first day of the symposium introduces the issues impacting the profession and the second day includes visits to Capitol Hill to discuss these important concerns with our legislators. Find out more info for this event at www.ascls.org/events.
As members, you have probably had colleagues ask what ASCLS has done for the profession. Rick Panning, Chair of ASCLS’s Government Affairs Committee (GAC), wrote a summary to a lapsed member specifically addressing ASCLS’s legislative participation. The highlights of that communication are listed here.
•ASCLS works closely with a legislative consultant, Patrick Cooney. Mr. Cooney is funded by ASCLS and works alongside ASCLS members such as Mr. Panning and his committee as well as other ASCLS members participating in grassroots efforts.
•GAC, in the last year, was able to lobby for and restore funding to Title VII and VIII and the Workforce Reinvestment Act. Both provide additional funding to schools and workforce development centers.
•ASCLS is working with other Allied Health professions (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapists and respiratory therapists) to increase awareness of allied health professions under the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) which recently restructured and limited its focus to nurses and physicians. It is noteworthy to mention that ASCLS and AACC are the only two laboratory organizations working on this effort.
•GAC, along with the Clinical Laboratory Coalition, is also part of the continuing discussion regarding laboratory reimbursement as related to the new legislation, Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA). PAMA will change how Medicare officials determine prices for laboratory testing which is currently based on a fee schedule developed in 1984. PAMA transitions the current fee schedule to a market-based model which will significantly impact laboratories. Keep an eye out for updates.
•In past years, GAC has lobbied on laboratory workforce shortages, competitive bidding, and state licensure.
***If you are interested in learning more or attending the Legislative Symposium feel free to email the ASCLS-Ohio Board of Directors at: firstname.lastname@example.org And they will put you in touch with someone to answer your questions.