On June 28, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle signed Senate Bill 2600 into law. The bill establishes licensure for respiratory therapists. Hawaii was one of two states (with Alaska) that did not have statutory language addressing the education or training requirements for either sleep technologists or respiratory therapists.
When SB 2600 was first introduced, the bill did not contain any language addressing the practice of sleep technology. The AASM worked with the Hawaii Sleep Society (HSS) to include exemption language into the bill which would ensure that sleep technologists would be able to continue working unimpeded within their scope of practice. The following exemption language was incorporated into SB 2600:
This chapter is not intended to restrict the practice of other licensed or credentialed healthcare practitioners practicing within their own recognized scopes of practice and shall not apply to:
(2) A person working as, or training to become, a sleep technologist or person who is enrolled in a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, Accredited Sleep Technologist Education Program, or a program approved by the American Association of Sleep Technologists to become a sleep technologist; provided that, as used in this paragraph, a “sleep technologist” is defined as a person trained in sleep technology and relevant aspects of sleep medicine, evaluation, and follow-up care of patients with sleep disorders.