Earlier this week, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed into law Senate Bill 723 (SB 723), which directs the Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) to license sleep technologists beginning Jan. 1, 2012. The bill requires that an applicant for licensure complete educational and training requirements approved by a newly constructed Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologist Licensing Board (“Board”) before obtaining a sleep technologist license. The bill also establishes a scope of practice for sleep technologists, outlining the procedures they can perform under the general supervision of a licensed physician.
The Oregon Sleep Society (OSS), AASM, and American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST) worked together closely on this bill. It received large bipartisan support, passing by votes of 27-3 in the Senate and 52-4 in the House. The AASM and AAST will continue to work with the OSS during the rulemaking process, which will address issues such as a grandfather clause and define the educational programs and certification examinations that will be approved by the Board.
Oregon is now the 10th jurisdiction to require licensure for sleep technologists, joining California, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, D.C., as the only jurisdictions with a Polysomnography Practice Act, which provides sleep technologists a specific licensure/certification pathway. The AASM congratulates the OSS and all of our members in Oregon who contributed to this successful effort.