SACRAMENTO- Today, Assembly Bill 1215 authored by Assemblymembers Hagman and Holden, was signed into law by Governor Brown. AB 1215 will help meet the increasing demand for healthcare by expanding the definition of “laboratory director” for the purposes of a clinical laboratory test classified as waived under the Federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to include clinical laboratory scientists (CLS).
“I want to thank Governor Brown and my colleagues for their support on this bill,” stated Assemblyman Hagman. “The Affordable Care Act will introduce many newly insured individuals into our healthcare system, and allowing clinical laboratory scientists to act as laboratory directors when performing waived tests will speed up the lab testing process for patients and providers, while ensuring quality of care,” Hagman continued.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will extend health benefits to an estimated 7 million uninsured Californians by 2018. This, in addition to an aging population, will mean increased demand for care and auxiliary services such as clinical laboratory testing. CLS are qualified to perform waived (low level), moderate, and high complexity tests. A large number of tests are classified as waived; they employ simple methodologies, have a low chance of erroneous results, and pose no harm to the patient if performed incorrectly. CLS have far more training and education in clinical laboratory practice than anyone currently allowed to direct a waived laboratory, other than a pathologist.
AB 1215 received broad bipartisan support through the legislative process, and is a step in the right direction for meeting future demands for care while ensuring patient safety.