New York Legislative Update
The New York State Histotechnological Society is pleased to announce that lobbying efforts have resulted in a amendment to article 165, the controversial NYS Clinical Laboratory Licensing law passed in September of 2006. In the two weeks before the close of the legislative session, representatives form the New York State Histotechnological Society met with the New York State Department of Education to propose changes to correct flaws in article 165. We proposed new language for the “scope of practice” that defines and broadens the role of histotechs in the laboratory. We also proposed academic criteria that establish an associate’s degree as the minimum requirement for licensing (histotechnician) in NYS. In addition, the educational content contains histology specific subject matter, ensuring that students will receive a histotechnology appropriate education. The New York State Department of Education supported the language and added it to an amendment which was passed by both the assembly and senate and subsequently signed by the governor at the end of June. The amendment went into effect on August 7, 2008. The New York State Department of Education is currently preparing emergency regulations to enact these changes. At the Board of Regents meeting at the end of September, the Reagents will act upon the emergency regulations, and then the New York State Department of Education will begin the licensing procedure. Unfortunately, we were not able to include academic criteria/content for baccalaureate (histotechnologist) level education/training within this amendment. Nevertheless, the NYSHS is continuing to pursue this goal.
The impact of the new regulations on already licensed, practicing histologist will be minimal. They can continue to practice with their current license and/or apply for the new histologist certification. Individuals working under a “limited permit” will be allowed to continue to work until July 1, 2009. During this time, they will be contacted by the NYS education department in order to determine their eligibility for grandfathering under new regulations. Those individuals, who do not qualify for grandfathering provisions, are non-licensed (out of state) or are students will be required to meet the educational criteria and pass an examination. The mechanism and structure of the examination and testing procedure will most likely be similar to that being created for clinical laboratory practioners with the exception that the exam will be content specific. However, we are still awaiting clarification and additional details regarding the procedure for individuals seeking licensure. For more information on the new regulations, please visit: http://www.op.nysed.gov/clp-cltlic.htm . To contact the New York State Histotechnological Society please visit us at: http://www.nyhisto.org/