Health Policy News: Updates on Legislation in Louisiana and Maryland
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Friday, March 28, 2008
In 2005 Louisiana became the first state to establish independent licensure for sleep technologists when The Louisiana Polysomnography Act was signed into law. The next step in the process of establishing licensure was to draft regulations in conjunction to the Act. However, an effort to draft additional rules regulating the practice of polysomnography was brought to a halt by Hurricane Katrina.
Now the Louisiana Academy of Sleep Medicine, along with the assistance of AAST, is prepared to resume drafting regulations. A first draft of the regulations should be completed within the next few weeks.
In 2006 the Maryland Legislature passed House Bill 957, which requires individuals practicing polysomnography to obtain licensure by October 1, 2009. However, the 2009 deadline has presented some challenges. To obtain licensure a sleep technologist must have completed a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health (CAAHEP)-approved polysomnography program. This requirement presents a challenge as there are currently no CAAHEP-approved polysomnography programs in the state.
On February 7, 2008, House Bill 1082 was introduced. The bill, backed by AAST and the Maryland Sleep Consortium, was originally written to waive certain educational requirements for out-of-state sleep technologists relocating to Maryland. Recently, however, an amendment to the bill extending the licensure date to October 1, 2012 was passed by the House Health Facilities & Occupations Subcommittee and will now be sent to the Senate Committee on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs.
More information on both of these initiatives will be communicated to members as it becomes available.