State Legislative & Regulatory Activity

To keep you abreast of state legislative activity pertaining to bone densitometry, ISCD has researched and summarized information for each state. Members, watch for state-specific e-mail communications explaining ways you can help. If you haven’t provided ISCD with your e-mail address, submit it now to iscd@iscd.org to be certain you receive these time-sensitive calls to action.

ISCD Asks States to Recognize Certification and Education Programs in Various States

ISCD continues to work to increase the visibility and importance of quality DXA testing by profiling our certification and education programs in states all over the country.  Highlighting the need for a standard of excellence in DXA testing, it is important that our certification and education programs that are central to the mission of ISCD are recognized by state regulators. As we continue this effort, we will be asking for your help in our efforts in the states.

Our goal is to work with our members and key state agencies to have ISCD Certification and education programs recognized in as many states as possible. Where opportunities arise, as the result of to some proposed change in statute or regulation, we will work with state regulators to determine how ISCD Certification and education programs may fit within a new regulatory scheme in that state.

Below is a quick rundown of the states where we have intervened:

North Carolina-Proposed Technologist Licensure Requirements

North Carolina remains one of a handful of states that does not require licensure or certification for radiologic technologists. The North Carolina General Assembly introduced legislation (S 390 and H 742) that would require all radiologic technologists to be licensed in the state. Unfortunately, the draft bills did not include or recognize ISCD certification as an option for those technologists performing DXA testing.

The ISCD drafted suggested amendments to the proposed bills.  We requested that the legislation be amended to include ISCD’s NOCA-approved technologist certification program for individuals performing bone density testing.

The North Carolina Society of Radiologic Technologists Inc. (NCSRT Inc.) and American Society of Radiologic Technologist (ASRT) reviewed the ISCD request and informed the bill sponsors of the Society’s support for the inclusions of ISCD in the new legislation.  Changes to the proposed bills have been sent to the research staff lawyer at the legislature for drafting.

We will keep you informed as the legislation moves through the North Carolina Legislature.

Oregon and Utah-Recognition of ISCD Certification

The ISCD has requested that the state of Oregon recognize its certification program for technologists who perform DXA testing.  The Board of Medical Imaging has agreed to consider our request, and the topic has been placed on the Board’s agenda for January 2014.  ISCD will be making a formal presentation to the Board and will keep you updated.

The ISCD is also drafting a request to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to recognize our certification program for technologists.  We will keep ISCD members in Utah apprised of our communications with regulators in the state.

Minnesota-Precision Testing

The ISCD formally requested that state of Minnesota overturn a long-standing policy prohibiting precision testing. (Department of Health Information Notice 2003-1 Prohibiting precision testing for DXA).

The Department’s rationale for the prohibition includes: (a) lack of direct benefit to the patient; (b) that precision testing constitutes training, instruction, demonstration, or research; and (c) that the patient is being exposed to unnecessary radiation.

In its formal request for reconsideration ISCD argued that the policy:
•    Is contrary to the medical literature;
•    Jeopardizes patient health and safety by causing false readings, incorrect diagnoses, and makes it impossible to monitor patients for changes in BMD over time;
•    Denies DXA providers the opportunity to have their facilities accredited by ISCD
•    Makes Minnesota the only state to prohibit precision testing.

The Department is currently reviewing the ISCD request and we anticipate a response from the Department by November 15th.

Our previous activity included:

Pennsylvania–   The Board of Medicine is entertaining changes to their existing regulations to recognize ISCD technologist certification.  ISCD counsel Donna Fiorentino and member Bennie’ Leverich appeared before the Board of Medicine on September 23, 2008 to present information on ISCD certification programs and to discuss quality of care issues in DXA testing.  The Board of Medicine could decide as early as October 28, 2008 whether ISCD certification programs will be accepted in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

New Jersey-   The New Jersey legislature has introduced a bill, SB 2201, which has the potential for allowing ISCD certification and education programs to have full recognition in the state by including a new limited technologist license.  In the event that this law passes, we will be working with the regulatory agency to create a limited license in the area of bone densitometry.

North Carolina and Wisconsin-   These two states have no regulation or requirements for DXA testing, but are considering the introduction of legislation that would regulate radiologic technology and technologist certification and/ or licensure.  ISCD has submitted materials to key state officials and will work towards inclusion of ISCD Certification and education programs as these legislative proposals develop.

Delaware, Kansas, Vermont and Kentucky-   Opportunities to present our education and certification materials have come to our attention in these states.  ISCD has submitted materials to the regulators in each of these states asking that they consider acceptance of ISCD certification programs for technologists. As the ISCD requests are being reviewed, we will be reaching out to members in each of theses states to help with letters of support for the ISCD certification programs.

Ohio-   The state of Ohio has only one general technologist license, and therefore a limited scope certification program can not, at this time be accepted.  However, the state does recognize ISCD education programs for continuing education credits.  In working with the Ohio Department of Health, Radiologic Licensure, however, we have learned that there is the possibility that our education programs may be acceptable for those individuals who are initially seeking licensure.  We are in the process of applying to the Department to have our education programs accepted not just for continuing education, but for initial licensure as well.

In addition to the states that we have contacted, ISCD plans to continue these efforts in as many other states as possible.  ISCD will work with regulators and public officials in those states without a regulatory scheme in place and where consideration of new laws may be on the state legislative agendas for 2009.  Some of these states include:  Idaho, Nevada, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan, Alabama, Maryland and New Hampshire.

Massachusetts-  On May 1, 2012, new Massachusetts regulations went into effect mandating qualifications for individuals performing bone density testing. The new regulations require persons operating bone densitometers to be ISCD certified licensed radiologic technologists, licensed physicians or American Registry of Radiologic Technologist Certified in Bone Density. The adoption of the regulations recognizing ISCD certified technologists was the culmination of over a year and half of work and marks a major success for the ISCD and our many physicians and technologists in Massachusetts who rely on ISCD certified technologists to provide quality DXA testing.

In the fall of 2010, DXA providers were notified that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health would require operators of bone densitometers to be ARRT certified effective January 1 of 2011.

The ISCD determined that more than fifty technologists in Massachusetts, who were ISCD certified but were not ARRT certified, would lose their jobs if this new rule were implemented. This new rule would have caused great hardship on a personal level to those whose jobs were threatened. In addition, the circumstances were dire for a number of large osteoporosis facilities staffed exclusively by ISCD certified techs. The new rule also presented problems for a number of research facilities who relied on ISCD certified technologists.

In the fall of 2010, the ISCD intervened with the Department of Public Health. After several weeks of negotiations, the Department agreed to allow ISCD certified technologists to continue to perform bone density while the issue of qualifications was under review. The Department also decided to adopt formal regulations addressing technologist qualifications, which allowed ISCD and other interested parties the opportunity to testify at a public hearing on any proposed changes to the Department’s regulations.

In the meantime, ISCD worked behind the scenes to familiarize Massachusetts regulators with the ISCD certification program, which had recently been revised to comply with nationally credentialing standards and was accredited by the National Organization of Certifying Agencies.

When Massachusetts regulators published the proposed regulations in August of 20I1, ISCD certification was one of several credentials recognized. ISCD Legislative Counsel Donna Fiorentino testified at a public hearing in Boston in September of 2011 in support of the proposed regulations with one slight change to accommodate DXA testing at research facilities.

Connecticut-  Connecticut also changed their law regulating bone density testing in the last legislative session. In June of 2011, the Connecticut General Assembly adopted a new law that required technologists to have either ISCD or ARRT certification. The new law replaced an antiquated statute that had been on the books for over 20 years that required people performing bone density testing to be nuclear medicine technologists. ISCD attorneys Donna Fiorentino and Anita Schepker brought this issue to the attention of state regulators testified before the Public Health Committee and helped shepherd the bill through the process. With the constant pressure of ISCDs lobbyists, the bill was voted on in the final hours of the 2011 legislative session. The new law allows both ISCD and ARRT certified technologists.

If you have questions about Massachusetts or Connecticut certification requirements, contact ISCD Legislative Counsel, Donna Fiorentino at dfiorentino@iscd.org.

Sec. 40. Public Act 11-242. Subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of section 20-74ee of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011): (4) Nothing in subsection (c) of section 19a-14, as amended by this act, sections 20-74aa to 20-74cc, inclusive, and this section shall be construed to require licensure as a radiographer or to limit the activities of a [Nuclear Medicine Technologist certified by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board] technologist certified by the International Society for Clinical Densitometry or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, provided such individual is engaged in the operation of a bone densitometry system under the supervision, control and responsibility of a physician licensed pursuant to chapter 370.

Your commitment to the ISCD public policy program through your payment of the advocacy assessment funds, in part, the state activities noted above. We hope that you will continue your support of these state and federal activities that are so important to our profession. We urge you to get involved and we welcome your input as these issues emerge.

 

 

 

Last modified: December 6, 2017