Legislation Signed Three Years Ago Has Not Been Adhered to by the State Board of Examiners; Rutgers Also Calls for BME to Implement Act
In 2017, legislation that provided for licensing of radiologist assistants by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection under the “Radiologic Technologist Act” was signed into law. The bill required the Board of Medical Examiners (BME) to approve procedures and establish a level of supervision necessary for the practice of radiologist assistants. A resolution (ACR-32) urging the BME to adopt the procedures was approved by the full Assembly 75-0 in July of last year.
The licensing mandate required under the Radiologic Technologist Act has not yet been reviewed or implemented by the BME.
In a statement, Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-Bergen, Hudson), a prime sponsor of the 2020 legislation, urges the requirements of the Radiologist Technologist Act to be adopted immediately to meet the needs of the growing workforce which will gain new graduates in this field this year. Without these provisions in place, these radiology graduates will not be able to work in New Jersey.
“In the three years since the bill was signed into law and after many requests to the State Board to adopt these procedures, the importance of the implementation of this law has fallen on deaf ears. We continue to receive calls of concern on the inaction of the State Board of Medical Examiners and the need for resolution.
“New Jersey is one of the few states in the nation that provides sufficient education for Radiologist Assistant (RA) certification and is one of only a few regular producers of professionals in this field, yet these assistants are currently unable to practice in this State because the BME has failed to yet and appropriately define the parameters of this particular highly-specialized practice. We cannot continue to drive these medical specialists out of the State for employment elsewhere when we need them here in New Jersey.”
Gladys Montane, Director and Educator of Imaging Sciences Programs in the Rutgers Department of Clinical Laboratory and Medical Imaging Sciences has also expressed concern on the Board of Medical Examiners’ delayed response to the Radiologist Technologists Act:
“Graduates from the Masters of Science Radiologist Assistant program are longtime residents of NJ. They have received extensive education and skills to work alongside radiologists. However, they are being denied the opportunity to work in NJ due to the BME lack of interest in writing the scope of practice, in a time where healthcare providers are overextended.”
Both Assemblywoman Jimenez and Mrs. Montane have sent letters recently to the Board of Medical Examiners requesting a quick resolution to these concerns.