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GAP Opposes Senate Bill 525

posted: February 22, 2022

Senate Bill 525 (SB 525) has been introduced in the Georgia Senate by Senators Robertson, Tillery, and Albers. The bill would amend Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia, which is the part of Georgia law that deals with licensure and other requirements of physicians and physician’s assistants. SB 525, as proposed, adds Pathologist Assistants (PA) to that code and includes language defining their licensure and continuing medical education requirements under the Georgia Composite Medical Board. It also contains a section defining scope of practice for PAs.

The GAP is opposed to the bill. First, last year, the GAP successfully lobbied for enactment of House Bill 93 (HB 93), which eliminated redundant state licensure of laboratories and laboratory personnel here in Georgia. However, SB 525 adds back in a layer of regulation by requiring that any person who grosses pathology specimens be licensed by the Georgia Composite Medical Board. This rule would restrict pathologists' ability to employ other personnel to gross low-complexity pathology specimens, such as biopsies. The GAP maintains that pathologists, under our statutory and ethical obligations as medical directors of laboratories, should not be prevented from effectively managing our laboratories by unnecessary regulations. CLIA and CAP already mandate that pathologists ensure the qualifications and quality of all personnel in the laboratory, including PAs. SB 525 is, therefore, not helpful and not needed.

The GAP has written to the bill's sponsors, and we have offered to speak with legislators should they have any questions about our position. We will keep GAP members informed about this and other legislative issues as the legislative session continues.