California: In 2017, a bill in California was seeing movement that would have allowed students being trained in the profession of nuclear medicine be paid minimum wage by their clinical sites was defeated. If it had not been defeated, these sites would have been less likely to support the state’s NMT training programs. Successfully, the bill was dropped from consideration.
Vermont: Although the State of Vermont has licensing requirements, an area of concern has recently resurfaced and is included in a new House Bill 684. The legislation requires post primary certification from ARRT or NMTCB for nuclear medicine technologists (NMT) to perform CT exams, including CT for attenuation correction. It also includes language, requiring NMTs, operating a PET system, to be certified in PET by the NMTCB. Ken Allen, our TAG in Vermont, submitted a letter of opposition and explains the qualifications, education, and certification(s) our NMTs receive prior to working in the field. In his letter, Ken also asked to be part of the working group to modify the language. Along with Ken, SNMMI joined in the letter opposing the passage of this bill in its current form and has requested input with the appropriate language. We ask that all Vermont NMT’s become involved with this new legislation to ensure the future of their profession.
Missouri: During 2017 one Senate bill and two House bills were introduced requiring licensure and certifications for all medical imaging professionals. The Senate bill did move out of committee but the House bills did not. Once out of committee, the Senate bill stalled. Our TAGs, Dmitry Beyder and Peggy Squires, became involved in the process and offered language adding nuclear medicine technologists to the bill. Another effort has just been proposed in February 2018 with a new Senate and House Bill. Both Dmitry and Peggy are currently reaching out to their legislators and offering to work with them on behalf of the NMT’s in Missouri.
Maryland: Our very busy TAG, Michael Vogel, has been very involved in petitioning Maryland’s Board of Physicians to reconsider the requirements called for of NMTs seeking licensure in CT use. The state differentiates between CT with attenuation correction and CT with more than AT when performing diagnostic imaging. While it recognizes both the ARRT and the NMTCB for CT certification when discussing diagnostic imaging, it only recognizes the ARRT for CT certification. Another area of concern by our TAG is the Board’s requirements before being licensed to perform non-diagnostic CTs is excessive and exposes the patients to ionizing radiation unnecessarily due to the number of scans required for documentation. Michael is making the right connections and speaking with all those involved in writing the appropriate language. As this 2018 legislative session moves forward, Michael is also seeking an appointment to the Board of Physicians as the NMT representative. He will need the support of all NMT’s working in Maryland to get these changes incorporated into the language.
Pennsylvania: As with Maryland, Pennsylvania is very active in its efforts to establish a medical imaging license and providing the correct language that will cover each modality. This has been a long-term effort but seems to be gaining some traction. Many parties are involved including our Pennsylvania TAG, Cheryl Rickley. Cheryl has hit the ground running and has been working hand-in-hand with all interested parties in moving the effort forward. Cheryl is scheduled to testify on the bills behalf and we have good intelligence that the bill will move easily to the PA House of Representatives floor for a vote.