Polysomnography Law Effective 10/23/09
The Respiratory Care Board (Board) is pleased to announce that effective October 23, 2009, unlicensed personnel currently performing polysomnography will be required to be registered with the Medical Board of California. These personnel will be required to meet education requirements, successfully pass a competency exam, and undergo criminal background checks. California Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) are exempt from meeting any additional requirements.
Senator Denham (R-Merced) has been a strong force throughout these last two years, to protect the health and safety of California consumers against the unlicensed practice of respiratory care, specific to polysomnography. The Board began this journey in 2002 and brought it to the forefront in 2008 by drafting and sponsoring the first piece of proposed legislation, SB 1125 authored by Senator Denham. Senator Denham co-authored the second piece of legislation (SB 1526) that was vetoed by the Governor due to unrelated State budget issues. In 2009, Senator Denham introduced SB 132 with an "urgency clause," and was successful once again, in bringing his bill to the Governor's desk. The California Society for Respiratory Care (CSRC) has also been a strong force throughout the last two years cosponsoring each piece of proposed legislation. They have actively worked with the Senator and sleep associations to reach a consensus and were instrumental in moving SB 132 through the Legislature in its final form.
As part of SB 132, the Board wanted to ensure there was clarification that licensed RCPs would not be required to meet any additional criteria or qualifications in order to legally and fully practice polysomnography in California. As a result, with the CSRC's assistance, Senator Denham's office included the "letter of intent" below that was unanimously passed by the Legislature as part of this bill. On October 23, 2009, the Governor signed SB 132 which took effect immediately (Chapter 536, Statutes of 2009).