Please sign in support of Texas SB 1383 and SB 1662. These are the new licensure and registry bills for laboratory professionals for the 2015 legislative session.
Licensure for medical laboratory professionals will mandate minimum standards for competency and education for MLS/MLTs to work in Texas. Licensure also prevents felons from other states from being licensed in Texas. Licensure provides penalties for negligence and illegal laboratory practices. Currently, someone can omit from their application that they have been fired for gross negligence. This is a dangerous and costly practice. Currently, high school graduates with minimal training and no certification can perform moderately complex medical laboratory tests.
Inaccurate results from non-qualified individuals increase health care costs and decrease the quality of patient care. In 2012, SEVEN labs had their CLIA licenses suspended or revoked. This means that these labs had significant deficiencies that were not corrected for 2-3 YEARS before ultimately being shut down. FOUR of these labs were pediatric clinics! Texas has had the highest number of CLIA sanctioned labs in the nation for six years in a row. This represents HIGH risk to public health and inadequate regulation. Licensure would help ensure that this doesn't happen.
Licensed healthcare professionals of Texas are included in recruitment/retention initiatives, shortage data collection, loan forgiveness, scholarship/stipends through federal and state programs. Laboratorians are not included because we are not licensed.
Remember, currently working laboratorians will be grandfathered in. They will be able continue working. There will be only the national certification exam (ASCP or equivalent), and a very small fee every 2 years.
Licensure is good for labs, the profession, and public health. Mandatory registration of laboratory professionals is important if licensure is not in place. Sign the petition today!