03-19-09 Update on 7 States

American Association of Sleep Technologists
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American Association for Respiratory Care
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American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists

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Re: Advance Article

Postby tcr104 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:49 am

ReDEyEz wrote:You know, I received the latest edition of Advance in the mail today and there was a section in it about the new SDS (sleep disorder specialty) credential that AARC has created, in that they want to have equal footing in sleep medicine, with RPSGT. I know we all know that CPAP somewhat might of gotten a start in Respiratory but what gives them the right to try and take something that has attained a life of it's own? It's obviously big enough to require a field unto itself. The article, "Street Cred" also mentions that they created this test specifically for RRTs and CRTs to give them an additional credential, "SDS" and when they debuted the exam in 2008, 16 RTs applied to take it -- and of those, only 8 "attempted" it. They expect a 350 person turn out for 2009. Now my question is, how do those numbers compare to those of BRPT's some 14,000 credentialed sleep technologists that have taken the exam and passed since 1979?...


http://respiratory-care.advanceweb.com/editorial/content/editorial.aspx?cc=195883

I had a conversation with an RT recently who wanted to discuss how to get training for sleep and during the conversation he inquired about what sleep techs get paid, so I told him he might expect to make as much as $30 per hour after he passed the brpt exam. That was all it took for him to lose interest. Does anyone know the difference in pay from a working RT to an entry-level Tech? I would imagine even the more competitively paying sleep labs might not pay as much as might be potentially earned as an RT?
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Postby Sleepladypalmdesert » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:31 pm

RTs make several dollars more an hour at my hospital. We start a technician at about 18. 00. A registered technologist starts at about 21. Tops out at about 30.

RTs make more from the start. I believe once licensure takes effect out here that the salary will be comparable, certainly not more.
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Postby MrBig » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:36 pm

RPSGTs top at about $25hr here while RRTs can top over $40hr at one of the local hospitals. Trainee pay in this town is pathetic.
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Postby Mairi2 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:26 pm

At our hospital, we're prety equal with RT pay - I think we go one step higher, but I'd have to confirm that. We're much better paid than EEG techs...
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Postby ReDEyEz » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:26 am

I'm not really concerned with Mississippi at the moment, as it appears the local respiratory body is willing to work hand in hand with us instead of against us... but I mean as a national thing... it's just not right.

I know for most of the RTs that I've spoken with and heard input from, very few if any are even interested in moving into sleep medicine. I just don't see where the AARC gets off is all. I know at the root of it all, it's about money and power. But still... it doesn't make it right and I'd love some feedback from some our governing bodies. Just a, "y'all hang in there, we're going after this" would be nice, ya know?
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Postby MrBig » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:08 am

Well, hopefully after CA's RPSGT bill passes, other states will come around.
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rt pay

Postby sleepnlisa » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:28 am

My mom was in the hospital in Alexandria VA and I was talking with rt (2 in fact) and they both told me they made around $80,000.00/yr there :shock: and if only you could see them. No offense, but they were the ones that were putting her breathing treatment with mask delivery over her swift 2 nasal pillows while she was wearing her cpap :roll:
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Postby tcr104 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:02 am

ReDEyEz wrote: I just don't see where the AARC gets off is all. I know at the root of it all, it's about money and power. But still... it doesn't make it right and I'd love some feedback from some our governing bodies. Just a, "y'all hang in there, we're going after this" would be nice, ya know?


In defense of our national organizations, I will say that I've been pretty impressed and pleasantly surprised by the help that we've received here from the AAST/AASM in defeating local legislation that would have given authority for oversight of sleep to the respiratory care board. They really did much more than I thought they would, and the political action team that is being developed there did a great job for us. We have a re-written licensure bill to show for it.
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Postby LingLIng » Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:34 am

Yes, but isn't that what they are supposed to be doing? I mean, isn't that kinda included in obligations as far as them being a whole?


That's kinda like giving a guy a pat on the back for paying child support....something that he is obligated to do, right?

I agree that much more needs to be done. They have started taking action, but they really need to step up their game.
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Postby REM-KEEPER » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:17 am

I think we should be expected to be regulated just like every other field of medicine.
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Re: rt pay

Postby MrBig » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:35 am

sleepnlisa wrote:they were the ones that were putting her breathing treatment with mask delivery over her swift 2 nasal pillows while she was wearing her cpap



Image
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Postby Jayhawkhenry » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:36 pm

Strawberri the list does not include what is going on in Kansas or North Carolina. I have a feeling a lot is left out. The AAST needs to step up and include all state activity and state societies on it's site.

We are still plugging along through the bureaucratic layers of government after out initial bout with the Senate hearing.
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Postby tcr104 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:20 pm

Jayhawkhenry wrote:Strawberri the list does not include what is going on in Kansas or North Carolina. I have a feeling a lot is left out. The AAST needs to step up and include all state activity and state societies on it's site.


Henry, I had the same thought about my own locality when I got this email, but I just assumed DC was not included because it's not a state. I'd like to see the AAST site include this info as well.

http://www.dcsleepsociety.org

edit to adjust URL
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Postby strawberri » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:16 pm

I don't know the rationale behind only including 7 states in the email either.....and nope, we are never told the "rest of the story" (as Paul Harvey used to say - I miss him!). Very puzzling....

I hope everyone on Binary is either involved in their state's sleep society, or making plans to start one. We need them now....not after the dust settles.
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Postby strawberri » Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:36 pm

Issue Date:
April 24, 2009
The AAST has been proactively involved in dealing with state government issues that affect our members. The following is an update of the legislative and regulatory activity in the following states:

California
Senate Bill 132 (SB 132), a bill to establish educational and training requirements for sleep technologists, was introduced into the General Assembly on February 9 and referred to the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development (BPED) for a hearing on March 23.

SB 132 presents the same language that was in Senate Bill 1526 (SB 1526). Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed SB1526 last year in response to a protracted, contentious debate over the California state budget. The Governor chose to veto SB 1526 along with 137 other bills in order to send a message to the state legislature. The Governor's veto was completely unrelated to the merits of the bill, which had passed the legislature with a significant bipartisan majority, and was based solely on political reasons.

On March 23, SB 132 was presented before the BPED. After a short discussion the Committee voted 10-0 in favor of SB 132. In the Senate Analysis of SB 132 it states that the California Respiratory Care Board (RCB) will not proceed with any further citations against sleep facilities that employ sleep technologists. The analysis states "the RCB has indicated to Committee staff that any actions have been put on hold pending the outcome of this legislation." This is good news for our sleep facilities in California.

On April 20, SB 132 was presented before the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The bill was heard and approved by the Committee by a vote of 10-0. The bill continues to move through the legislative process and we will keep our members posted with any new developments.


Georgia
We have been working with the Georgia Association of Sleep Professionals (GASP) on developing a licensure bill which would establish educational and training requirements for sleep technologist.

On March 3, Senate Bill 252 (SB 252), which had the backing of the GASP and the Georgia Society for Respiratory Care (GSRC) was introduced into the Georgia General Assembly. The bill would have established educational and training requirements for sleep technologists; however, GASP was contacted by the Governor Perdue's office informing them that the Governor does not support licensure for any health profession.

Although the Governor could not support SB 252, he informed GASP that he did not want any sleep technologists to lose their jobs because of his opposition to the licensure bill. To ensure that the sleep technology profession was protected, the Governor's office worked with GASP to develop exemption language for sleep technologists. The exemption language developed by the two groups stated: "A physician may delegate tasks involving polysomnography to a polysomnographic technologist without regard to whether such technologist is certified or licensed as a respiratory care therapist." The language was included in House Bill 509 (HB 509), the Medical Practice Act.

On April 1, the Georgia General Assembly passed HB 509 and the bill was submitted to the Governor for signature on April 3. The AAST sent out an email blast to all of our members in Georgia encouraging them to contact the Governors office requesting that he sign the bill. Pursuant to Georgia law, the Governor has 40 days to sign or veto the bill.


Hawaii
On January 28, 2009, nine bills pertaining to establishing licensing requirements for respiratory care practitioners were introduced in the Hawaii State Legislature. Currently, Hawaii is one of two states (Alaska) that does not have a respiratory or sleep technology practice act. Most of the bills would have caused issues for our sleep technologists because of the inadequate exemption language.

The AAST worked closely with the Hawaii Sleep Society on this issue. Fortunately, none of the bills were passed out of committee.


Maryland
We have been working with our members in Maryland and the Maryland Board of Physicians on Senate Bill 433 (SB 433), which would postpone the initial licensure deadline for sleep technologists from October 1, 2009 until 2012. Current statutory language mandates that all individuals practicing polysomnography after October 1, 2009 must obtain licensure by first completing a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health (CAAHEP) approved polysomnography program. Presently, there is only one CAAHEP program operating in Maryland.

In a January 27 letter, the Maryland Board of Physicians concurred with our position that implementation of the October 1, 2009 licensure deadline would lead to either a significant decrease in the availability of sleep studies in Maryland, or to a large pool of unlicensed personnel practicing in spite of the law. Therefore, the Board supports legislation postponing the deadline until 2012.

In March, SB 433 was referred to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. The Committee amended the bill to postpone the deadline until 2011 and the language was approved. The SB 433 has received large bipartisan support. The Senate passed the amended version by a vote of 47-0 and the House approved the bill by a vote of 137-0. On April 3, SB 433 was submitted to the Governors office for signature. The Governor has until late May/early June to sign the bill.


Minnesota
On February 16, Senate Bill 685 (SF 685) was introduced into the Minnesota Legislature. The bill would have amended the Respiratory Care Practice Act by changing the conditions for respiratory therapists from "registered" to "licensed." However, the legislation also included language which could have negatively changed the exemption language for sleep technologists and could have precluded sleep technologists employed by a durable medical equipment (DME) company or home medical equipment from performing "assessment, education, or evaluation of the patient" on respiratory care equipment.

We assisted developing letters that were submitted to state legislators requesting that the exemption language revert back to its original form and that the DME language require that only "qualified" individuals may set up the equipment and that they are allowed to "instruct the patient on the use of, and/or maintaining the respiratory care equipment."

Recently House Bill 535 (HB 535), a bill which addresses numerous health issues, was amended to include acceptable exemption language for sleep technologists and contains DME language which states that an individual employed by a DME provider or home medical equipment provider may deliver, set up, and instruct the patient on the use of, or maintains respiratory care equipment.

The bill is moving through the Minnesota General Assembly and we will keep our members posted with any new developments.


North Carolina
Senate Bill 892 (SB 892), which establishes a Polysomnographic Practice Act, was introduced into the North Carolina General Assembly on Thursday, March 26. SB 892, which has the backing of the North Carolina Association of Sleep Technologists (NCAST), establishes a scope of practice for sleep technologists and requires that all technologists obtain their RPSGT credential and register with the Secretary of State by January 1, 2012.

We will be working with NCAST on communication, letters and other materials to assist them with the legislative process.


Tennessee
In February, Senate Bill 726 (SB 726) and House Bill 1495 (HB 1495), which have the backing of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), were introduced into the Tennessee General Assembly. The bills would negatively amend the newly established Polysomnographic Practice Act.

If passed, the bills would make several changes to the Act:


Eliminate all Accredited Sleep Technologist Programs (A-STEP) in the state.


Delete the examination requirement for respiratory therapists and allied health professionals who wish to perform sleep-related services.

SB 726 has been referred to the Senate General Welfare, Health & Human Resources Committee. A hearing for the bill has not yet been scheduled.

HB 1495 was referred to the House Professional Occupations Committee. The bill was scheduled for an April 14 hearing but was postponed.

We will continue to work with the Tennessee Sleep Society (TSS) and the Tennessee Society for Respiratory Care (TSRC) to oppose this piece of legislation. We will keep our members posted with any new developments.


Washington, DC
On March 3rd, The Washington, DC Council unanimously approved Bill 18-33, titled the "Practice of Polysomnography Amendment Act of 2009." The bill would provide for the regulation of polysomnography under the Board of Medicine, and create an Advisory Committee on Polysomnography, comprised of physicians and sleep technologists, to develop and submit guidelines regulating the practice.

The bill was sent to the Mayor's office on April 13th for his signature. Once the Mayor approves the legislation, the bill will become an Act. Unique to DC, an approved Act of the Council must be sent to the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate for a period of 30 days before becoming effective as law. Upon the expiration of the 30-day congressional review period, the bill finally becomes law, pending the federal legislature does not file a joint resolution of disapproval towards the Act. If Congress does file a joint resolution of disapproval, the President of the United States could then approve or reject the joint resolution.

Members will be kept updated on the progress of DC Bill 18-33.


State Society Update

AAST continues to move forward establishing a state sleep society in states that do not currently have a society. The purpose of the sleep society initiative is to strengthen the sleep care community in the state, and to provide a forum that will serve to educate members and protect the profession from any issues that may affect their practice.

At the start of this initiative there were 18 state sleep societies. Currently there are 28 societies. We have begun working with 10 new states: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah.
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