RE: histotechs in the gross lab

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From:"O'Brien, Sue" <>, "''" <>
Date:Fri, 9 Jul 1999 09:13:24 -0400

Phyllis, The Advance, April 26th 1993, Volume 5, Number 17 had a letter to
the editor by Marilyn Weitz with a question about histotech status under
CLIA.  The editor's reply came from Judy Yost, chief of the Laboratory and
Home Health Services Branch of HCFA, and contains a reference to your
specific question. It was as follows: "She reports that if you have 10 years
of "pertinent" laboratory experience prior to January 1, 1968 or have 16
semester hours in chemistry and 16 semester hours in biology and three hours
in math plus one year of training or experience in a laboratory with
training in medical technology equivalent to an MT (as in 439.1433(b)(1) and
(2) in the March 14, 1990 regulations, you are grandfathered.  You are
covered by the moratorium pertaining to MLT-C's, but eventually may require
an associate degree in MLT or a lab science (depending on recommendations by
CLIA and final corrections to the regulations).  Ms Yost notes that HT's who
only process tissues but do no grossing are not covered by the regulations.
Anyone who does grossing must meet high complexity testing personnel
requirements and have their results reviewed by a testing supervisor within
24 hours." 
In March 1993 an article was in the CAP which stated that new Department of
Health and Huamn Services CLIA 88 interpretive guidelines included a
clarification that allows pathologists to  continue to delegate gross tissue
exams to technical personnel, as long as the technical supervisor
(Pathologist) is ultimately responsible for the diagnosis per 493.1489.
Section 493.1489 also established personnel qualifications for individuals
who perform high-complexity testing, effective Sept 1, 1997: Such personnel
must have at least an associate degree in  a laboratory science or medical
laboratory technology from an accredited institution.  The CAP's (College of
American Pathologist) current Anatomic Pathology Inspection Checklist
(Section 8, 1998.1 edition) has further guidelines in question numbers
08.1161 through 08.1167. (I didn't include them here, this response is long
enough already!!!!) Hope this helps,
Sue O'Brien
Burdette Tomlin Memorial Hospital
Cape May Court House, NJ  08210

> ----------
> From:[]
> Sent: 	Friday, July 09, 1999 8:00 AM
> To:
> Subject: 	histotechs in the gross lab
> I need new info regarding the legalities of histotechs learning gross 
> dissection. Any references would be most helpful. Thanks,
>   Phyllis 

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