Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

State Licensure

Currently, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Oregon are the only states with approved legislation mandating the licensure of sonographers. 


  • New Hampshire


  • New Mexico


  • North Dakota


  • Oregon



2017 Legislative Update


NEW HAMPSHIRE

House Bill 184

Title:               Licensure Requirements Medical Imaging and Radiation

Author:          Sylvia (R)

Coauthor:      McGuire C (R)

Introduced:   01/04/2017

Disposition:  Pending

Location:       House Executive Departments and Administration Committee

Summary:
      Repeals RSA 328-J, the regulation of medical imaging and radiation therapy under the board of medical imaging and radiation therapy. View Bill Text

Status:           View Current Status - search for "HB184" (without quotes)

SDMS STAFF ANALYSIS: The bill would repeal the entire medical imaging and radiation therapy licensing statute (approved in 2016).

SDMS STAFF RECOMMENDATION(S): STRONGLY OPPOSE. Encourage sonographers in New Hampshire to contact their state Representative and members of the NH General Court’s House Executive Departments and Administrations Committee

House Bill 334

Title:               Board of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy

Author:          Scully (R)

Introduced:   01/04/2017

Disposition:  Pending

Location:       House Executive Departments and Administration Committee

Summary:
      Relates to an exemption from licensure by the board of medical imaging and radiation therapy. View Bill Text

Status:          View Current Status - search for "HB334" (without quotes)

SDMS STAFF ANALYSIS: This bill attempts to provide an exemption to nurses and midwives via a change in the definition of sonography. HB 334 proposes an exemption to Chapter 328-J. The appropriate place for an additional exemption is not in the definition of sonography, but rather in the Exemptions section (328-J25), so that all exemptions are found in one place (not buried in a definition).

In addition to nurses and midwives, there may be other licensed health professions that will use sonography (within their scope of practice) in a limited, non-diagnostic role for assessment of the patient’s immediate medical condition (e.g., paramedic checking for breech position or blood in the abdomen) or for needle guidance. Adding a broader exemption would avoid having to seek additional legislative exemptions in the future.

To provide guidance on the differences between diagnostic and limited, non-diagnostic use of sonography, the proposed language below provides a non-exhaustive list of the sonography uses covered by the exemption.

SDMS STAFF RECOMMENDATION(S): SUPPORT WITH SUBSTITUTE LANGUAGE ONLY (see below). Encourage sonographers in New Hampshire to contact their state Representative and members of the NH General Court’s House Executive Departments and Administrations Committee.

1 Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy; Definition; Sonographer. Amend RSA 328-J:25 to add a new paragraph as follows:

(VII) A person performing a sonography procedure within their scope of practice that is used to assess specific and limited information about a patient’s immediate medical condition, is limited to a focused imaging target and does not generate a recorded diagnostic medical image. A focused imaging target includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Assessment of fetal presentation or heartbeat;

(b) Assessment of fluid in a body cavity;

(c) Assessment of foreign body position or location;

(d) Fetal monitoring during active labor; or

(e) Identification of an anatomical landmark or blood vessel for vascular access or administration of anesthesia.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.


NORTH DAKOTA

Senate Bill 2198

Title:               Regulation of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy 

Author:          Lee J (R)

Introduced:   01/12/2017

Disposition:  Pending

Location:       Senate Human Services Committee

Summary:
      Relates to the regulation of medical imaging and radiation therapy; declares an emergency. View Bill Text

Status:           View Current Status

SDMS STAFF ANALYSIS: Senate Bill 2198 was introduced as a “clean-up” bill. The changes are in response to requests to change some of the language in the statute as well as address concerns about maintaining medical imaging and radiation therapy coverage in Critical Access Hospitals. The proposed language authorizes the licensing board to use “case-by-case” exceptions for medical imaging and radiation therapy personnel who were employed in Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) prior to January 1, 2017.

The bill’s language is a compromise and rather than providing broad exemptions, establishes case-by-case determinations by the Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Board of Examiners and it allows the Board to issue a conditional license and establish other criteria (e.g., mandatory continuing medical education) for maintenance of the conditional license.

The North Dakota Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Board is seeking letters of support for SB 2198.

SDMS STAFF RECOMMENDATION(S):SUPPORT. Sonographers in North Dakota are encouraged to contact their state Senator and members of the ND Legislative Assembly Senate Human Resources Committee to support SB 2198.

House Bill 1371

Title:               Licensure Grandfathering Provision

Author:          Nelson J (R)

Coauthor:      Weisz (R), Robinson (D), Boe (D), Rust (R), Bekkedahl (R), Westlind (R)

Introduced:   01/16/2017

Disposition:  Pending

Location:       House Human Services Committee

Summary:
      Relates to a licensure grandfathering provision; relates to the regulation and licensure of medical imaging and radiation therapy practitioners. View Bill Text

Status:           View Current Status 

SDMS STAFF ANALYSIS: The bill requires issuance of a “grandfathered license” to anyone providing medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures prior to the North Dakota licensure statute becoming effective on January 1, 2016. This would establish two classes of licensees – those with certification and those without. Presumably the supporters of this bill chose this approach rather than attempting a repeal of the licensure statute because they still need the benefit of a license to be able to enter physician orders into a patient’s electronic health record (which was the original impetus for seeking licensure). In addition, the bill restricts the Board’s ability to establish additional requirements by rule – licensees applying for renewal would only have to comply with the text of the statute rather than any rules adopted by the Board (e.g., certification and continuing education requirements). The bill also strikes references to scopes of practice for the various medical imaging and radiation therapy modalities (i.e., removes the requirement that the licensee function only within the licensed modality). In addition to many other inconsistencies and errors, the bill incorrectly proposes replacing the definition of “certification organizations” with “registration organizations.” For a more in-depth analysis, read this letter.

SDMS STAFF RECOMMENDATION(S): STRONGLY OPPOSE. ​Sonographers in North Dakota are encouraged to contact their state Representative and members of the ND Legislative Assembly House Human Resources Committee and express opposition to this bill.

MUAM 2015 Its More Than a Picture