LIVING THE LAB LIFE
A BLOG FOR ASCLS REGION V
ASCLS, in conjunction with our partners on the Board of Certification, urge the laboratory community and other interested individuals to Sign the Petition urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reconsider its position that nursing is a biological science for purposes of performing laboratory testing.
Sign the petition at: http://cqrcengage.com/ascpath/app/sign-petition?0&engagementId=239813
On April 1, CMS announced that “an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing is equivalent to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, respectively, in biological science”—seemingly declaring that individuals with a nursing degree are potentially as qualified to perform advanced testing as certified laboratory professionals. It also appears that CMS’s position could allow individuals with as little as a bachelor’s degree in nursing to direct a CLIA moderate complexity laboratory and/or serve in senior supervisory roles within a CLIA high complexity laboratory. Since the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 doesn’t specifically require clinical training of individuals with a degree in biological sciences, CMS’s new policy exempts individuals with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from any specific training requirement prior to performing high complexity testing for diagnostic purposes.
We have great respect for the work and invaluable services nurses provide patients, but we do not agree that the nursing degree is equivalent to a biological sciences degree or that it would adequately prepare someone to perform non-waived laboratory services.
Our greatest concern is this policy will negatively affect test quality and patient outcomes as well as effect access to quality testing services. Take a few minutes to Sign the Petition to tell CMS that you believe a degree in nursing is not the same thing as a degree in the biological sciences and that appropriate academic coursework and clinical training/experience are need to provide quality testing services.
Executive Vice President