Philippine Association of Medical Technologists - USA, Inc.

                                                                        PRESIDENT’S CHRONICLE # 3 - October 2016

2016 ASCP Annual Meeting and CMS Nursing Degree Equivalency

As stated in Chronicle No. 2 – September 2016, the result of the September 27th meeting of ASCP BOC, ASCP, and ASCLS with CMS on the topic of Nursing Degree Equivalency will be discussed in this October 2016 chronicle.

During the September 27th meeting, ASCP-BOC, ASCP, and ASCLS:

1. Presented the petition to CMS signed by more than 35,000 individuals opposed to CMS’s degree equivalency policy;
2. Outlined many of the key reasons why biological science and nursing degrees are not equivalent;
3. Discussed typical degree requirements for nursing degree programs, noting that they fall short of the scientific coursework required to earn a degree in biological sciences; and
4. Presented comments received from their respective memberships including those who hold degrees both in nursing and biological science.

The CMS Response:

1. The memorandum reflected a long standing internal policy developed due to a concern about a shortage of testing personnel at POL’s in rural areas;
2. CMS will be working to address the issue and that it is currently examining how best to implement a change in policy; and
3. Fixing this issue may require the Agency to propose new regulations.

What We Can Do:

If we believe that CMS should reconsider Memorandum S&C: 16-18 CLIA and biological science and nursing degrees are not equivalent,  we need to let CMS know by communicating with:

Thomas Hamilton
Director, Survey and Certification Group
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard, C2-21-16
Baltimore, MD 21244 – 1850


This 1st webinar was held  on October 29th as scheduled with President-Elect Rex Famitangco delivering his lecture on “Regulatory Changes and Their Potential Impact on Clinical Laboratories”.  His lecture discussed the following concerns:
1. Nursing Degree Equivalency
2. Laboratory Testing by Advance Practice Nurse Practitioners (APRNs)
3. ASCP Wage and Vacancy Survey 

The lecture was very interesting and informative.  We had attendees from the following chapters:
North Dakota, Southern California, San Diego, Indiana, Nebraska, New York and Nevada.  Hopefully, we will have more participants in our next webinar scheduled on Jan 28, 2017 with me as the lecturer on “Hemostasis”.

The powerpoint presentation of Rex will be uploaded on our PAMET USA website  soon by 2nd VP Vangie Robles for viewing by the general membership. At this point I would like to acknowledge that all  the information I wrote under my 1st  topic (2016 ASCP Annual Meeting and CMS Nursing Degree Equivalency) in this Chronicle No. 3 were taken from Pres.-Elect Rex Famitangco’s webinar presentation.  Thanks so much Rex!


The survey was launched online on October 24, 2016. The first deadline set on November 24, 2016 was extended up to Dec. 31, 2016 in order to accommodate those who were not yet able to accomplish the survey. To participate click on the link  or visit our website to read the letter of ASCP President William E. Schreiber, MD, FASCP addressed to Lab Directors, Managers, Supervisors, and Leads.  His letter contains the survey link as well.


Report of Alan Calaor on the reactivation ofFlorida Chapter:  “A teleconference meeting with current officers of Florida Chapter was held on October 25th (Saturday) and I was unanimously chosen to be the Chapter’s President.  The chapter is divided geographically into three areas: Northern, Central, and South Florida.  The rationale for this is to promote autonomy in convening and creating activities which favorably promotes greater participation of members who are conveniently residing in those areas.  Moreover, all those initiatives must be in consonance with the chapter’s thrusts and objectives. The South Florida officers will be serving as the chapter’s officers for two years.  We are in the process of transitioning the records, files, by-laws, etc.  We are planning to have a meeting in December in Orlando to discuss the events like induction of officers and first general meeting.”

So there, Florida Chapter is reactivated and will be officially recognized during the induction of its new set of officers led by Alan Calaor.  Please help me welcome back Florida Chapter into the fold of the  PAMET USA Family! You can email your messages  to [email protected]

 I wrote to Alan to thank him for his initiative in the revival of PAMET Florida Chapter and for being the “reviving”(?) president.  The seed money of $500.00 (five hundred dollars) from PAMET USA National will be issued in the name of PAMET Florida Chapter and will be mailed to Alan to get them started in planning for their induction and first general meeting. 


This significant event was held on the night of October 22, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel Star Plaza in Merrillville, IN.  I was invited as the Inducting Officer.  Past PAMET USA Presidents Aida Maguigad (as Keynote Speaker) and Evelyn Ramirez (as introduction of the keynote speaker) were also in attendance. The event was well organized / attended . As Ethel Urbi wrote in her invitation letter: “the baton of leadership will be passed on from the baby boomers generation to the X generation.”  And that happened when Outgoing President Ethel Urbi passed on the baton of leadership to Incoming President Easter Claire Don on that momentous night.  It was a night to remember with old and new members alike so actively involved! Congratulations and best wishes to the incoming set of officers.  Congratulations as well for a job well done to the outgoing set of officers!

As instructed by Ethel, I took the SWA flight from Las Vegas to Midway Airport in Chicago in the morning of October 22nd.  She and her sister picked me up for our drive to the Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville, IN – a good 45-minute drive.  We were joined later by Manangs Aida and Evelyn who also droved from Chicago. We three shared a hotel room and we had a great bonding time.  The following morning after breakfast, the two gave me a ride back to Midway Airport for my flight back to Las Vegas!. Thank you Ethel, Tony Ricafort, Yvonne Cortez,  and everyone else from PAMET IN for the great hospitality you extended to us.  Thank you as well to my dear Manangs Aida and Evelyn for the fun and the “wisdom moments” you have shared with me!

                                                                                 *End of Chronicle No. 3*