Public and Scientific Affairs Board

Public and Scientific Affairs Board

The ASM joined over 50 health care organizations in a letter to Congressional Leadership asking that they ensure that all members of the health care workforce with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status are able to continue their employment, education, training, and research, with passage of a permanent legislative remedy, such as the bipartisan, bicameral Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615, H.R. 3440).

Marc Couturier and Laura Filkins, members of the PSAB Committee on Laboratory Practices, authored a document entitled “Cyclospora Detection and Reporting from Clinical Samples” to assist our members in identifying a parasite which has been on the rise in intestinal illnesses.  Cyclospora is not usually detected by a conventional O&P examination but can be detected using modified stains, which are detailed in the document.

Effective October 14, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) added great ape pathogen Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis as a Tier 1 select agent to the list of select agents and toxins.  This white paper provides information about this organism and suggests ways to identify it.

Thursday, 24 August 2017 07:52

Coalition Letter on NIH F&A Costs

The ASM joined over 100 health care and scientific organizations in a letter to OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and DHHS Secretary Tom Price opposing the Administration’s move to reduce the National Institutes of Health Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost, also known as indirect costs, by $7.2 billion or 21 percent.  These cuts would undermine NIH biomedical research achievements and would jeopardize future progress.

The August issue of the Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter has been published by the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities.

ASM submitted comments to CMS on payment for new codes which will be included in the 2018 Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS). New codes considered included detection of antibiotic resistance genes and new antibody and PCR tests for Zika.

ASM has joined other societies with expertise in diagnostic testing in a letter addressing the Palmetto Draft Local Coverage Determination of Panels Identified by Multiplex Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs). Palmetto, a contractor in the Southeast US for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, has indicated that it will not reimburse syndromic panels for identification  of respiratory and gastrointestinal pathogens.  ASM and co-signers indicate clear uses of these panels in improving patient care in the letters, submitted on July 20.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 10:57

Coalition Letter on FY 2018 Funding for NSF

The ASM signed onto a letter, as a member of the Coalition on National Science Funding (CNSF), to Congress urging them to maintain federal investments in America’s scientific and innovation enterprise.

Christopher Doern and Duane Newton, members of the Public and Scientific Affairs Board, Laboratory Practices Committee authored the white paper “Clinical Utility of Multiplex Tests for Respiratory and Gastrointestinal Pathogens.”  The expanded availability of molecular methods for detection of pathogens directly in clinical specimens is changing the paradigm for diagnosis and management of patients with infectious diseases.  This paper describes the benefits and clinical value of multiplex molecular diagnostic panels. 

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