Patients at risk in 38 states
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Recently the Federal Agency CMS – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services- made an unprecedented move by rushing through a ruling that eliminates the need and jobs of highly trained and educated medical laboratory technicians and scientists in 38 states! The standard process involves CMS publishing the suggested change for review and comments by the public and professionals, before a ruling is made, in this case however, no public review period was allowed.
Link here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/ascpcdn/static/BOC/Newsletter/Survey-and-Cert-Letter-16-18.pdf
The results of this rule could, quite frankly, be devastating to everyone…
First and foremost, it puts U.S. lives at risk! MLS and MLT professionals provide up to 70 percent of objective patient information to physicians so they can provide accurate diagnoses and treatment plans (a 2002 study in Clinical Leadership and Management Review).
Allowing professionals, who are not specifically trained in this area, to take on this responsibility, could be disastrous!
Without in depth training, results can and will inevitably be slowed down, inaccurate and possibly incorrect… clearly to the detriment of the patient… which would then affect their health negatively and ultimately end up increasing the cost of Health Care in the US… which is more than likely the exact opposite of what this CMS Ruling was intending!
Medical Lab Scientist (MLS) and Medical Lab Technologist (MLT) professionals learn the medical laboratory theory for 1,000+ currently available lab tests, the sources of test interference, and the connections between test results and diagnoses! It is not an overstatement to say that Medical Laboratory professionals provide critical lifesaving information repeatedly during their work day: e.g., complex testing to cross-match your blood for emergency surgery, to identify a genetic abnormality of a newborn, or to assist in the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis and cancers like Hodgkin’s disease. (Posted on 10 March 2015 by Rodney E. Rohde, PhD, David M. Falleur, MEd, and Joanna R. Ellis, MS)
This CMS Ruling is now allowing this responsibility to fall on our Nurses…Nurses who are already overworked and over stressed and simply do not have the depth of training in all of these testing procedures and outcomes. What do the Nurses have to say? Did anyone ask them how they feel about this added on responsibility?? Not according to Dr. Michael Icardi (National Director, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Service) “They haven’t asked the nurses if they want to do this. They don’t want to be MTs or RTs”.
Our nurses are already stretched to a breaking point. How can they be expected to be everything to everyone…and do it safely, accurately and proficiently?
CMS…why can’t we let our Nurses be Nurses and our Medical Lab Professionals be Medical Lab Professionals?