44 N.J.R. 2356(a)
Proposed Amendment: N.J.A.C. 13:44L-2.3
Application for License as a Polysomnographic Technologist
Authorized By: State Board of Polysomnography, Francine Widrich, Acting Executive Director.
Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:14G-7.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2012-147.
Submit comments by December 14, 2012 to:
Francine Widrich, Acting Executive Director
New Jersey State Board of Polysomnography
124 Halsey Street
P.O. Box 45051
Newark, New Jersey 07101
The agency proposal follows:
The State Board of Polysomnography (Board) is proposing to amend N.J.A.C. 13:44L-2.3(b), its rule setting forth the standards that an applicant who does not hold a temporary license as a polysomnographic technician must meet to become a licensed polysomnographic technologist. The Board proposes to amend the rule to permit an applicant holding a doctorate degree in a health-related field to apply for licensure without having to complete a polysomnographic program accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) if he or she meets certain criteria. An applicant holding a doctorate degree in a health-related field may apply for a technologist license if he or she is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM). An applicant holding a doctorate degree in a health-related field may also apply for a technologist license if he or she has passed the examination administered by the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) and has completed a minimum of six months of paid clinical experience. An applicant is not required to complete his or her clinical experience all at once. However, the clinical experience must be completed within the three years immediately prior to taking the examination, and for whatever part of each of those years the applicant is working, at least 21 hours per week of on-the-job polysomnography duties must be direct patient recording and/or scoring.
The amendment defines a health-related field as any field in which services are rendered or research is conducted for the purpose of maintaining or restoring an individual's physical or mental health. Examples would include, but are not limited to, fields such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, nursing, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and psychology.
Under N.J.S.A. 45:14G-10, the Board is required to establish educational standards for licensure at least commensurate with the standards of the national Association of Polysomnographic Technologists or of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the successor organization to the Association of Polysomnographic Technologists. The Board has determined that the completion of a doctorate degree and the achievement of Diplomate status or the successful completion of the BRPT examination with at least six months of clinical experience in sleep medicine is at least commensurate with the completion of a CAAHEP accredited course.
Pursuant to existing N.J.A.C. 13:44L-2.3(b), to apply for a license as a polysomnographic technologist, an applicant for licensure who does not hold a temporary license as a polysomnographic technician must: (1) complete an application for licensure; (2) complete a Criminal History Certification of Authorization form; (3) submit proof that he or she has successfully completed a CAAHEP accredited course; (4) submit proof that he or she holds a current certification in Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider from the American Heart Association or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation/Automated External Defibrillator (CPR/AED) for the Professional Rescuer from the American Red Cross; (5) submit proof that he or she has successfully completed the certification examination administered by the BRPT; and (6) submit his or her application fee. The proposed amendments to this section would change the requirements in (3) and (5) above to permit an applicant who has earned a doctorate degree in a health-related field and who has either competed six months of clinical work and passed the examination administered by the BRPT, or who is a Diplomate of the ABSM, to apply for licensure without completing a CAAHEP accredited course, assuming that he or she has met the other requirements for licensure.
The Board has provided a 60-day comment period on this notice of proposal, therefore, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5.
The Board believes that the proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:44L-2.3 will have a positive social impact upon the practice of polysomnography in the State. The proposed amendment would permit highly educated candidates who have successfully completed all other requirements for licensure to become polysomnographic technologists without completing another course program, thus saving these candidates time and money. The clinical experience and examination requirements would ensure that these candidates would have appropriate experience and knowledge in the field of sleep medicine to offset the lack of coursework in the field.
Under the BRPT's current protocol, to be eligible to take the BRPT administered examination, within the three years immediately prior to taking the examination, a candidate with a doctorate degree must have completed a minimum of six months of clinical experience where at least 21 hours per week per calendar year of on-the-job polysomnography duties were performed as direct patient recording and/or scoring. This is the same experience requirement that the Board is proposing.
The examination to become a Diplomate of the ABSM was discontinued in 2007. To have been eligible to take that examination, an individual with a doctorate degree in a heath-related field was required to have an extensive clinical background. A candidate needed to have completed two years of clinical training and been licensed by a state or Canadian province to provide health services. Alternatively, he or she must have completed, in addition to three years of clinical experience in his or her field, the equivalent of one year of full-time training in clinical sleep disorders in a sleep disorders center under the supervision of a Diplomate of the ABSM.
Additionally, Diplomate candidates were required to have completed at least 400 patient evaluations, and have interpreted and reviewed the raw data of at least 200 polysomnograms and 25 multiple sleep latency tests. They must have evaluated a minimum of 200 new patients and 200 follow-up patients. Of the new patients, at least 60 had to have had a diagnosis of a sleep disorder other than sleep-disordered breathing, such as insomnia, parasomnia, narcolepsy, and other disorders of excessive daytime sleepiness.
The Board believes that the proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:44L-2.3 would have a positive economic impact on applicants possessing a doctorate degree because they would not be required to incur tuition costs to complete a CAAHEP-accredited program to become licensed as technologists. Under the existing rule, individuals who wish to become licensed as polysomnographic technologists and are not currently licensed as polysomnographic technicians must complete a CAAHEP-approved program; there is no waiver provision in the rules that would allow individuals with different but commensurate educational credentials to apply for licensure. Consequently, under the existing rule, even highly educated individuals who are experienced in the field of sleep disorders would incur thousands of dollars in tuition costs and [page=2357] program fees for a CAAHEP-approved course to be considered for licensure. It is anticipated that the proposed amendment would have no economic impact on the general public.
Federal Standards Statement
A Federal standards analysis is not required because the proposed amendment is governed by N.J.S.A. 45:14G-10, and is not subject to any Federal requirements or standards.
The Board does not believe that the proposed amendment will result in the creation or loss of jobs in the State.
Agriculture Industry Impact
The proposed amendment will have no impact on the agriculture industry in the State.
Regulatory Flexibility Statement
Currently, the Board licenses approximately 289 technologists, 209 technicians, and provisionally licenses four trainees. If Board licensees and provisional licensees are considered "small businesses" within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., then the following applies.
The proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:44L-2.3 will not impose any new reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements upon technologists, technicians and provisionally licensed trainees. Rather, it makes compliance more attainable.
No additional professional services will be needed to comply with the proposed amendment. The Board believes that the proposed amendment should be uniformly applied to all technologist applicants in order to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the general public in the provision of polysomnographic services.
Housing Affordability Impact Analysis
The proposed amendment will have an insignificant impact on affordable housing in New Jersey and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rule would evoke a change in the average costs associated with housing because the proposed amendment concerns the proposed licensure of individuals with doctorate degrees who have experience in sleep medicine and have passed the BRPT examination or who are Diplomates of the ABSM.
Smart Growth Development Impact Analysis
The proposed amendment will have an insignificant impact on smart growth and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rule would evoke a change in housing production in Planning Areas 1 or 2, or within designated centers, under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in New Jersey because the proposed amendment concerns the proposed licensure of individuals with doctorate degrees who have experience in sleep medicine and have passed the BRPT examination or who are Diplomates of the ABSM.
Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):
13:44L-2.3 Application for license as a polysomnographic technologist
(a) (No change.)
(b) An applicant for licensure as a polysomnographic technologist who does not hold a temporary license as a polysomnographic technician shall submit to the Board:
1.-2. (No change.)
3. Proof that the applicant: [has]
i. Has successfully completed a CAAHEP accredited polysomnographic course; or
ii. Possesses a doctorate degree in a health-related field. For purposes of this subparagraph, a health-related field means any field in which services are rendered or research is conducted for the purpose of maintaining or restoring an individual's physical or mental health. Examples would include, but are not limited to, fields such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, nursing, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and psychology.
4. (No change.)
5. Proof that the applicant has successfully completed the certification examination administered by the BRPT[; and] or, in the case of an individual possessing a doctorate degree in a health-related field, proof that the applicant has successfully completed:
i. The certification examination administered by the BRPT, having completed a minimum of six months of paid clinical experience where at least 21 hours per week per calendar year of on-the-job polysomnography duties performed as direct patient recording and/or scoring within the three years immediately prior to taking the examination; or
ii. The examination administered by the American Board of Sleep Medicine between 1978 and 2006, having attained the status of Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine; and
6. (No change.)
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