Take Action to Delay Disastrous Medicare Cuts to Clinical Labs; Handmade for the Holidays Silent Auction Benefits ASCLS Education & Research Fund; Sign Up for CE Events; and more.
Take Action to Delay Disastrous Medicare Cuts to Clinical Laboratories
Congress Needs to Hear Your Story
Cuts to the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee schedule threaten to further erode the precarious finances of America’s clinical laboratories, severely limiting their ability to staff laboratories and pushing an exhausted workforce even further into burnout.
These cuts will severely limit access to laboratory services that over 56 million seniors rely on to manage chronic conditions, cancer, and other complex health issues. Our most vulnerable seniors bear the brunt of these cuts. Some specialized labs that serve nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and long-term care facilities have already been forced to shut down operations, reduce services, and lay off employees Infectious disease testing may further be limited. Rural beneficiaries in need of routine testing to monitor chronic diseases may face delays.
Congress has repeatedly taken bipartisan steps to mitigate the harmful impacts of PAMA cuts, including the passage of the Laboratory Access for Beneficiaries (LAB) Act in 2019, and more recently, a delay of cuts and data reporting as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Unless Congress acts by December 31, further significant cuts and another round of flawed data collection will both occur on January 1 and threaten access to testing. To keep patients safe and healthy amid the ongoing public health emergency, please take action to urge your members of Congress to enact a one-year delay of cuts and data reporting by December 31 to provide the additional time needed to enact permanent common-sense changes to Medicare lab rate calculation.
ASCLS Free Monthly Webinar
Prevent, Prepare and Protect: Strategies for Handling Conflict Inside the Laboratory
November 18, 7 pm Eastern
Speaker: Sean G. Kaufman, MPH, CHES, IFBA CP(BRM)
Carl Jung believed conflict between individuals was not random and could actually be predicted. When you place multiple humans with different personalities in laboratory spaces and add risk, stress, and responsibility with short deadlines and a sense of feeling undervalued – conflict between and within a laboratory staff is highly likely. This presentation will discuss strategies which will prevent conflict, prepare for managing conflict, and protect the safety culture from conflict within the laboratory.
- Discuss the impacts of conflict between staff in the laboratory on science and safety.
- Discuss strategies which can be used to avoid conflict between staff working in the laboratory.
- List steps for responding to conflict between staff working in the laboratory.
If you can’t attend live, register anyway—those who pre-register will receive access to the webinar recording.
ASCLS is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® Program.
ASCLS Labvocates on Capitol Hill
On October 25, nearly 120 medical laboratory professionals from six organizations joined together in Alexandria, Virginia, and virtually for the 2021 Laboratory Legislative Symposium. Members from ASCLS, the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), Association of Genetic Technologists (AGT), American Medical Technologists (AMT), National Society for Histotechnology (NSH), and the Philippine Association of Medical Technologists-USA (PAMET-USA) learned about the legislative issues impacting medical laboratories and how to be labvocates and make their voices heard on Capitol Hill.
The day-long program included presentations, special guest speakers from Congress and the White House, and role playing how to meet with members of Congress. Read a summary of what attendees experienced through their posts on Twitter.
On October 26, attendees met with their respective members of Congress—both in person and virtually—to advocate for bills and issues discussed the day before. Read the issue briefs that were shared during the visits.
Thank you for your united efforts to make the voice of medical laboratory professionals strong and heard.
Fall Board of Directors Meeting
The ASCLS Board of Directors met on October 24 in Alexandria, Virginia, for its fall meeting and engaged in strategic discussions centered on engagement of laboratory professionals in advocacy, clarifying the important role of ASCLS scientific assemblies, and the clinical laboratory workforce shortage. The meeting included the following actions.
- The Board approved to standardize the constituent society dues rates and discontinue the annual $800 regional assessment paid by regions, replacing it with a governance assessment allocated through the constituent society dues. The following is the approved constituent society dues structure:
- Professional Members: $20 (with $4 retained as governance assessment)
- Ascending Professional and Community Members: $10 (with $2 retained as governance assessment)
- Developing and Emeritus Members: $5 (with $1 retained as governance assessment)
- The ASCLS SOP Section IX States, “The regional council is not to be incorporated and the Society serves as the fiscal agent.” To assure ASCLS practices are congruent with our policies, good governance, and meeting our fiduciary obligations to our members, the Board directed all regional councils, no later than July 31, 2022, to liquidate and distribute all assets within regional accounts to constituent societies in the region on a per capita basis, based on total membership of each constituent society on April 30, 2022, and then subsequently close all accounts that previously held liquidated and disbursed assets no later than September 1, 2022.
ASCLS Education & Research Fund Silent Auction: Handmade for the Holidays
Raise Money for Medical Laboratory Science Scholarships and Research Grants November 12-19 Start your holiday shopping with the ASCLS E&R Fund’s 2021 Handmade for the Holidays Silent Auction. Win unique and lab-themed items while raising money for an important cause.
All items are donated by ASCLS members and state constituent societies and include handmade ornaments and artwork, jewelry, and state-themed gift baskets. All money raised goes to the ASCLS Education & Research Fund, which provides scholarships, research grants, and professional awards that assist in the growth of the medical laboratory science profession and enhances the essential services provided by laboratory professionals. Thank you for your support!
ASCLS has a number of new volunteer opportunities that allow you to help set the direction for the Society and get more involved.
Position Paper Taskforces
Three new taskforces will ensure that ASCLS position papers are current and relevant. Taskforces are being empaneled to review the following position papers:
Each taskforce will make recommendations to the Board of Directors to affirm, change, or rescind existing position papers. Those recommendations will eventually reach the House of Delegates. The taskforce would be encouraged to consult subject matter experts and/or ASCLS committees as needed for this review. Apply by November 30.
Trade Association for Educational Programs Taskforce
The taskforce is asked to explore the demand and potential services for a trade association for educational programs sponsored by ASCLS using the following process:
- Examine If a trade association could fill a unique gap in the marketplace.
- Design the services that will be offered to potential members.
- Identify membership criteria and fees.
- Make recommendations to promote the trade association.
Enhance Research and Scholarly Activities among ASCLS Members Taskforce
This taskforce will investigate ways to empower the professional community to more actively engage in research and scholarly activities (e.g., scientific writing/presenting) using the following process:
- Conduct an environmental scan that identifies internal and external forces to ASCLS that is currently limiting research and scholarly productivity of the professional community.
- Develop a set of actionable steps that strategically dismantle those issues and promote research scholarly activities within ASCLS.
Developing and Ascending Professional Councilors 2021-2022
The ASCLS Ascending Professionals Forum (APF) is seeking three councilors to serve a two-year term on the forums. The Developing Professionals Forum (DPF) is seeking 10 councilors to serve a one-year term on the forum. Councilors will participate in monthly conference calls and work on projects as needed to help complete the charges of the forums.
CLEC 2022 Features In Person and Virtual Registration Options
Registration for the 2022 Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference (CLEC) is now open, and a discounted early bird rate is available through January 16.
CLEC is the most impactful annual gathering for faculty, administrators, directors, advisers, and all in medical laboratory education. Content experts will present a wide range of timely topics, providing you with the knowledge and skills to navigate the evolving landscape for the clinical laboratory education community.
CLEC 2022 will be held March 14-16 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado. To provide you flexibility to participate in CLEC in the format that best fits your personal circumstances, you have the option to attend CLEC either in Denver or virtually through the streaming device of your choice, wherever you are. Reserve your spot today!
Diversity Advocacy Council Book Club
November 20, 6 pm EST
You are invited to join the second meeting of the 2021-22 ASCLS Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC) Book Club. Even if you didn’t make the first meeting, please feel free to participate as they continue discussing, Demanding More: Why Diversity and Inclusion Don’t Happen and What You Can Do about It, by Sheree Atcheson.
In this meeting, participants will go over discussion points on chapters 4-6:
4. Intersectionality: Peeling the onion of differences
5. Check yourself: Unchecked and unconscious biases
6. Stand up: Being an ally.
If you have any discussion points that you would like to see included in the meeting, please contact Miles Tompkins before November 16.
ASCLS is an inclusive, culturally relevant community of people acknowledging their differences and unique characteristics; it is an organization where all persons can engage and participate in a meaningful way empowering everyone to grow and learn. The ASCLS Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC) works to advance this value, and on a number of initiatives that promote inclusivity, communication, and cooperation among medical laboratory professionals.
Ask Me Anything: Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science
December 19, 7 pm EST
Join us for the next ASCLS Ascending Professionals Forum (APF) and Developing Professionals Forum (DPF) Ask Me Anything (AMA) to learn about the the Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science (DCLS). Panelists will include practicing DCLS Dr. Lindsey Davenport-Landry, DCLS, MLS(ASCP)CM, and Dr. Regina Wulff, DCLS, MLS(ASCP)CM; current DCLS students Kathryn Golab, MLS(ASCP)CM, and Cristian Lozano, MLS(ASCP)CM; and DCLS Program Director at the University of Kansas Medical Center Renee Hodgkins, PhD, MT(ASCP). Sign up for the free virtual event on Sunday, December 19, at 7 pm Eastern.
The DPF and APF host bi-monthly AMAs on a variety of career-related topics to help answer all your burning questions. View a playlist of previous career advice AMAs on the ASCLS YouTube channel.
Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference (ELMC2)
January 14-15, 2022
The Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference (ELMC2) is designed specifically for laboratory professionals to help them transition into and thrive in management roles.
ELMC2 provides two days of virtual programming (live and streamed for up to 30 days after the live event), up to 20 hours of P.A.C.E.® credit, networking and social events, access to an attendees-only online community, and follow up programming expected to take place 6-12 weeks after the conclusion of the virtual conference, as well as special meet-ups at the Joint Annual Meeting in June. A discounted early bird rate is available through December 13. Register today.
PRISM: Pride · Respect · Inclusion · Support · Momentum
January 12-17, 2022
The ASCLS Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC) invites you to participate in PRISM: Pride · Respect · Inclusion · Support · Momentum, which debuted in January 2021. Join medical laboratory friends and colleagues as we celebrate and ignite discussions regarding diversity in the profession and the inequities in our healthcare system.
As leaders and members, we understand that the most uncomfortable conversations can be the most educational, productive, and inspiring. With this in mind, the DAC organized PRISM, a series of virtual activities that culminates with a candid conversation with a featured guest.
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week
7th Annual ASCLS Lab Week Run
Step out of your labs and into your communities to help spread the word about the medical laboratory profession by participating in the ASCLS Lab Week Virtual Run.
This virtual race can be run at any time during Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (April 24-30, 2022) and can be run anywhere. Participants can walk, use a treadmill, run outside, or even ride a bike to complete the 5K distance (or 3.1 miles).
Race packets will go on sale January 1 with Early Bird Pricing available through February 15. All proceeds go to grants and scholarships that help medical laboratory professionals attend ASCLS meetings, lobby representatives for the profession, and become future leaders in the field.
Race organizers are currently looking for sponsors. If you or someone you know is interested in reaching thousands of laboratory professionals, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Episode of Off the Bench Podcast
Subscribe to the Off the Bench Podcast for discussions on scientific and not-to-scientific ideas in laboratory medicine. New episodes drop the last Friday of each month.
On the October 29 special Halloween episode, Sophia and guest hosts Romy and Mackenzie read and reacted to medical laboratory horror stories submitted by Off the Bench listeners. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be totally grossed out.
Please note: This episode contains graphic and potentially triggering things witnessed in the medical laboratory and hospital, including amputated limbs and maternal and child mortality.
Voices Under 40
Spotlight: Kathryn Golab, MLS(ASCP)CM, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Kathryn was recently promoted to Hematology Technical Specialist. Previously she was a Level 2 Medical Laboratory Scientist for Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories. As a Level 2 MLS, Kathryn performed all daily bench duties along with taking on additional responsibilities to support the hematology department. She currently serves as one of the primary trainers for differentials and body fluids and is a primary resource for manual hematology, the cancer center laboratory, and the bone marrow department.
Kathryn serves ASCLS in many capacities, most notably as a past member of the national Product Development Committee along with serving as a member at large on the ASCLS-WI Board of Directors. Previously, Kathryn has served ASCLS-WI as the Communications Committee chair, the Medical Laboratory Professionals Week chair, as well as the Virtual Meeting Planning Committee co-chair. Read more.
ASCLS Voices Under 40 honors ASCLS members who have shown exceptional commitment to the Society, the laboratory profession, and their community at large at a younger age in their professional career. Each month we spotlight one of the shining voices who were selected from many nominations across the country.
Welcome New Member
Kamal Smith, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM, New York
Kamal introduced himself in the #IamASCLS-Introduce Yourself Community: “My name is Kamal and I am happy to be a part of this community. With over five years of experience and have just recently completed my MBA, I thought it was about time I joined this community and hopefully become more active. I am also eager to learn from all of you and hopefully get the opportunity to network with you as well. I would love to be able to sharpen my management skills by learning from this community and gain knowledge on how best I can make myself and this profession ready for future changes.” Connect with Kamal.
We encourage ASCLS members to join the #IamASCLS-Introduce Yourself Community to get to know new members and welcome them to our Society.
Connect: The Community Conversations
ASCLS Connect is an invaluable way to ask questions, share feedback, and stay connected with your family of laboratorians. Here are some of the recent discussions you may have missed:
- The Membership Committee posts “Membership Mondays” questions each week to spur discussion and get to know fellow ASCLS members. The most recent question is: What is your favorite dessert at Thanksgiving?
- Members in the Laboratory Science Educators Community gave advice on how they manage course documents/sign offs for students throughout their clinical rotations.
- Members in the Hematology/Hemostasis Community discussed their experiences with body fluid hematocrit.
- In the Open Forum, members shared strategies for reaching out to future laboratory professionals.
- ASCLS continues to share CDC alerts and updates for laboratories through the Open Forum.
Download the MemberCentric App on your mobile device to get the community conversations and more in the palm of your hand.
ASCLS Taskforces Volunteer Application Deadline