January 25, 2018
SNMMI has been working with state Technologist Advocacy Group (TAG) representatives to promote licensure and the new Nuclear Medicine Technologist (NMT) Scope of Practice and Performance Standards.
Last year, the society successfully opposed bills in West Virginia and New Hampshire that would have ended licensure. In Illinois, however, the state’s budget crisis led to the elimination of the oversight board, so more work lies ahead there. In some states, SNMMI successfully fought off encroachment by other healthcare providers, like nurse practitioners in Texas and Oregon, who wanted the authority to perform nuclear medicine procedures without adequate training or experience. In other states, including Vermont and North Carolina, the society worked to “clean-up” statutes and regulations that imposed unnecessary restrictions on NMTs. In California, SNMMI collaborated with other groups to block, for now, a mandate that NMTs in training be paid the minimum wage, which would have eliminated the training programs there.
As the 2018 state legislative cycle gets underway, we are already seeing action in Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Vermont.
More states will surely be added to this list, and SNMMI-TS will be reaching out to members as needed, encouraging contact with elected representatives to advocate for professional standards, scope of practice and, especially, patients. An NMT Model Practice Act is nearing completion and will serve as a template to share with states as we continue advocacy efforts.