Kathy L. Sutton, MT (AMT)

Mississippi's Laboratory Professional Advocates 2019 Legislative Symposium
The 2019 Legislative Symposium in Washington, DC ACLS/CLMA/ASCP/AMT/AGT/NSH came together as one voice to advocate for our profession and the patients we serve. 117 attendees from 6 organizations of laboratory professionals stormed Capitol Hill March 19, 2019 with concerns, and present the Legislators with solutions to these issues.

The three issues discussed were the growing crisis in the clinical laboratory work force shortage, the negative impact Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA), and regulation of laboratory developed tests (LDT).

Growing Crisis in the Clinical Laboratory Workforce
Establish a program of scholarships and loan repayment to alleviate shortages of clinical laboratory scientists and other allied health care professionals. The scholarship and loan repayment program should include an obligation service for recipients in designated professional shortage area.

Establish a demonstration program to improve access to clinical education opportunities for allied health professionals under which an eligible hospital may receive payment for reasonable cost associated with the provision of qualified clinical training for clinical laboratory scientists and other allied health professionals.

Require the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to identify which allied health occupations are significate shortage on an annual basis.

Flawed Attempt to set “Marketing Pricing” Fails and Jeopardizes Access to Quality Care
Make a statutory adjustment to CLFS payments that provides short term relief and allows time to revise the rate-setting process conducted by CMS.

Ensure a valid stratified random data sample is collected by CMS that represents all segments of the laboratory market.

Required data collection requirements streamline collection to reduce the burden on participating laboratories by focusing on data specific to private market.

Revise PAMA statutory requirements to calculate the final CLFS payment rates per code as weighted mean proportionate to laboratory type, market share, and geography.

Laboratory Developed Tests should be Carefully Regulated defied by the FDA
LDTs are test defined by the FDA as diagnostic test that are designed, manufactured and used within a single laboratory. Some test offered for clinical use are not subject to active premarket oversight to ensure they provide accurate measurements and valid claims.

We provided input on a proposal Verifying Accurate Leading-edge IVCT Development ACT of 2018 VALID Act. We look forward to additional dialogue on the issue.

Mississippi Senator and Congressman contact information:

Congressman Michael Guest (R-MS)
Elizabeth Joseph Legislative Aide
230 Cannon HOB, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5031
Senator Roger F. Wicker (R-MS)
Samantha Helton Elleson
Jen Jett | Executive Assistant | Scheduler
555 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Phone: (202)-224-3750
Congressman Benny Thompson (D-MS)
Ty James Legislative Assistant & Press Secretary
Alexis M. Williams | Scheduler
2466 Rayburn House Office Building
Phone: (202) 225-5876
Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
Elizabeth Henry Health Policy Advisor
702 Hart Senate Office Building
Phone: (202) 224-5054

Kathy L. Sutton, MT (AMT), MLS (ASCP), Ancillary Testing Coordinator, Jackson Mississippi, President Mississippi Society of American Medical Technologists

Debbie Virgil, MT (AMT), LIS, POC, Phlebotomy Supervisor, Vicksburg, Mississippi