The CSP sponsored AB 2281 (Irwin) that would expand the types of tests that a Medical Laboratory Technologist can perform. The law adopted in 2002 that created the MLT license category limited MLTs to moderate complexity testing that did not involve microscopic analysis. California has the most restrictive MLT law in the nation while most states either have no similar limit on the type of moderate complexity tests that can be performed or don't license MLTs at all and defer to federal law.
AB 2281 would simply add three specific moderate complexity procedures blood smear reviews, microscopic urinalysis, and ABO/Rh blood typing to the duties of MLTs. This limited expansion was developed by a Laboratory Workforce Committee under the auspices of the Ca. Hospital Assoc. and lab professionals. It is also consistent with a report on the State of the California Medical Laboratory Technician Workforce released by the Healthforce Center at UCSF in January 2017. That study compared regulation of MLTs by other states, the numbers of MLTs in each state, and their utilization as part of the lab workforce.
These three procedures were chosen because they are all moderate complexity tests, are high volume in many labs, are part of current MLT training programs and performed by MLTs in most other states.
AB 2281 will help clinical labs address the aging of the lab workforce and allow higher trained Clinical Lab Scientists to focus on high complexity testing and the more difficult lab tasks. AB 2281 has passed the Legislature without a "No" vote even though it drew the opposition of the Engineers and Scientists of Ca. and other labor unions. It is now on the Governor's desk awaiting signature. AB 2281 would take effect on 1/1/19.