We are pleased to report that the governor of New York has signed the bill extending the grandfathering period for state clinical laboratory licenses until 2016. Although this is not a permanent solution to the problem of lack of official recognition of the role of Pathologists’ Assistants in New York, at least it extends by three years the period during which Pathologists’ Assistants may obtain a limited license to practice. The available license categories are still not appropriate, since Pathologists’ Assistants may only apply for limited licenses as either a Clinical Laboratory Scientist or a Histological Technician, but at least a temporary license to practice in New York can be obtained, for the time being. Since New York officials have said within the past year that a clinical laboratory license is required for the gross examination of tissues, the AAPA recommends that any member practicing in New York who does not already have a New York license as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist or a Histological Technician should obtain a limited license in one of these categories during this period in order to ensure their ability to continue to practice in New York.
We would like to ask all of our members currently practicing in New York to get involved in helping to create a more permanent solution to this problem. In just three years, when the newly extended grandfathering period expires, we will revisit this scenario. Our members will again be told by New York that they may not practice without a license, and if we do not act, there will be no license for us to obtain. Over the next few years, talk to your Pathologists. Talk to your colleagues, your managers and administrators. Those of you who work in facilities that have political lobbying departments should speak to your public affairs people. And if any of you have contacts who are involved in the regulation of clinical laboratories or in politics on the state level in New York, by all means talk to them as well. The AAPA will continue to be involved in a dialogue with state agencies and New York laboratorians as well. We will continue to partner with other interested groups such as the ASCP to protect the interests of our members in New York. It will take a concerted effort by all of us, working together, to find a more appropriate and lasting resolution that allows for the recognition of our professional role in New York laboratories.
Rosie Falcon, MS, PA(ASCP) Legislative Adjunct to the Board of Trustees American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants (541) 621-9079 email@example.com