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Meeting of the Board of Regents | March 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008 - 11:15pm

sed seal                                                                                                 







Frank Muñoz


Update on Implementation of Clinical Laboratory Technology Practice Act


February 27, 2008


Goal 3






Issue for Discussion


The purpose of this item is to update the Professional Practice Committee on the Department’s implementation of the Clinical Laboratory Technology Practice Act, and legislative and budgetary proposals that would substantially impact on this new profession.


Reason(s) for Consideration


              For Information and Advice.


Proposed Handling


This discussion will take place at the March 2008 meeting of the Professional Practice Committee.


Procedural History


The Clinical Laboratory Technology Practice Act was enacted by Chapter 755 of the Laws of 2004 and became effective September 1, 2006. The new law created three new professions: clinical laboratory technologist, certified clinical laboratory technician, and cytotechnologist. Regulations implementing the law were approved by the Board of Regents at its July 2006 meeting. At that time, the Board approved regulations relating to the licensing examination, the issuance of limited permits, and the grandparenting of then current practitioners. The Board also adopted interim regulations for the professional study required for entry into the three new professions. Since that time, there have been extensive discussions with legislators, legislative staff, educational programs, hospital associations, laboratory associations, and others concerning the implementation of the law.


Background Information


Prior to the effective date of the Clinical Laboratory Technology Practice Act, the requirements for the operation of clinical laboratories and the qualifications for clinical laboratory personnel were under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health (DOH). Under the new law, responsibility for the oversight of clinical laboratories remains with DOH, but the responsibility for the licensure of clinical laboratory technologists, certified clinical laboratory technicians, and cytotechnologists rests with the Education Department. Partly as a result of this change in structure, issues have arisen in a number of areas concerning the implementation of the law.


Education Requirements


The Education Department is responsible under the law for establishing the educational requirements for the three new professions. After questions were raised by some programs concerning the originally proposed regulations, the Department engaged in a series of meetings with educational program staff, legislative staff, and industry representatives to gather information about both existing programs and the components needed for entry into the new professions. Those discussions continue, focusing on the coursework that is required for minimal competence and the impact on professional education programs that were preparing students before the law passed. 


As a result of those meetings, it has been clarified that the prescribed areas of study do not require full courses in each area, but rather require curricular content as coursework; under this approach coursework in a number of areas may be included in a single course or in the clinical portion of the program. Additionally, changes have been made in the areas in which coursework is required.


Legislative and Executive Budget Proposals


              A bill passed the Assembly in 2007 that addressed several unintended consequences of the licensure law, including exemptions for those doing waived testing, grandparenting for cytotechnologists who had worked five or more years, and the extension of grandparenting to additional technologists.  


              A bill introduced in the Senate did not reach a vote.  This bill included the issues in the Assembly bill, and additionally:


  • authority for the Department of Health to require a permit from those facilities performing waived tests, state-waived tests, and provider performed microscopy procedures and an exemption for those performing these tests
  • creation of a master’s degree in the Wadsworth Center in clinical laboratory science
  • creation of 13 specialty licenses in clinical laboratory technology along with the authority of the Commissioner of Health to establish other specialty licenses as needed.


The Article 7 budget bill in 2008 has proposed to amend the Public Health Law:


  • to establish a new limited laboratory registration process and to exempt those providing such tests from licensure in the clinical laboratory technology professions
  • to establish a Clinical Laboratory Sciences on-site Master’s degree program in the Wadsworth Center
  • to establish 17 certificates for clinical laboratory specialists who would be exempt from the licensure requirements of SED and to authorize the Commissioner of Health to create new specialty certificates.    


In testimony before the Legislature, the Department urged that Sections 10 -13 of the Article 7 bill be removed.  Extensive discussions were held, including those with 1199/SEIU, the union representing many in the clinical laboratory professions, and the Greater New York Hospital Association, Sloan-Kettering and Mt. Sinai Hospital, and others.  As a result of these discussions, language has been proposed that addresses current access needs while maintaining minimal entry level standards and public protection measures.  These provisions:


  • expand the grandparenting provisions for clinical laboratory technicians and technologists
  • provide for the grandparenting of cytotechnologists who had been omitted from the existing grandparenting provisions
  • provide an exemption for employees of the Wadsworth Center Laboratory of DOH and for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Health’s Public Health Laboratory
  • authorize the creation within the Wadsworth Center of a Master of Science program in the field of laboratory science subject to the approval of the Board of Regents and registration by the Department.
  • provide for the creation of three Limited Licenses to enable persons who have either been licensed in other jurisdictions, or have a baccalaureate degree in the sciences, or have experience as research assistants to work until 2013 while meeting the education and/or experience requirements for licensure
  • provide for a restricted license under which a certificate would be issued to those meeting specific requirements to perform tests and procedures in  designated specialties.