The purpose of these regulations is to establish minimal standards of education, experience and examination for professional polysomnographers to ensure licensees practice with reasonable skill and safety in order to protect the health of the public while broadening access to competent, professional polysomnography services.
“Board” means Delaware Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline.
“Council” means the Polysomnography Advisory Council of the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline.
“Out of Center Sleep Testing” means analyzing and scoring polysomnographic data collected outside of a sleep center for the purposes of assisting a licensed medical doctor in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep and wake disorders. Out of Center Sleep Testing includes remote monitoring as well as Home Sleep Testing.
“Polysomnographer” means a professional duly licensed by the Delaware Polysomnography Advisory Council of the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline.
4.2 Polysomnographers must provide the Division of Professional Regulation his/her current home mailing address. Any change in home mailing address must be reported to the Division within ten days of such change. All notifications and correspondence pertaining to a polysomnographer’s license that are sent through the mail will be sent only to the most recent address provided by the licensee. The failure to provide the Division with a current home mailing address will not operate to excuse any duty or responsibility of the licensee and confirmed delivery to the most recent address provided by the licensee will be considered proper notice.
5.2 Unprofessional conduct includes any act of fraud, deceit, incompetence, negligence, dishonesty or other behavior in the licensee’s professional activity which is likely to endanger the public health, safety, or welfare including, without limitation, the following:
5.2.1 Performing acts beyond the scope of authorized practice by a polysomnographer to include violations of 24 Del.C. §1799AA et seq. or of these regulations;
5.2.15 Diverting, possessing, obtaining, supplying or administering prescription drugs to any person, including self, except as directed by a person authorized by law to prescribe drugs or attempting to do so;
5.2.18 Aiding, abetting and/or assisting an individual to violate or circumvent any law or duly promulgated rule or regulation intended to guide the conduct of a polysomnographer or other health care provider;
6.2 Direct supervision means that a licensed polysomnographer will be personally present and immediately available within the treatment area to provide aid, direction, and instruction when procedures are performed. All evaluations, progress notes, and/or chart entries must be co-signed by a licensed polysomnographer.
7.1.4 The polysomnographer shall retain all certificates and other documented evidence of participation in an approved/accredited continuing education program for a period of at least three years. Upon request, such documentation shall be made available to the Council for random audit and verification purposes.
7.1.5 Continuing education hours shall be prorated for new licensees in accordance with the following schedule: Two years remaining in the licensing cycle requires twenty hours. One year or more, but less than two years, remaining in the licensing cycle requires ten hours. Licensees obtaining initial licensure with less than one year remaining in the licensing cycle are exempt from the continuing education requirement.
7.2.1 A licensee who because of a physical or mental illness during the license period could not complete the continuing education requirement may apply to the Council for a waiver. A waiver may provide for an extension of time or an exemption from some or all of the continuing education requirements for one renewal period. A separate request must be submitted for every renewal period during which a waiver is requested.
7.2.3 Requests for Extension - Extenuating Circumstances. A licensee applying for renewal may request an extension and be given up to an additional twelve months to make up all outstanding required hours providing he/she can show good cause why he/she was unable to comply with such requirements at the same time he/she applies for renewal. The licensee must state the reason for such extension along with whatever documentation he/she feels is relevant. The Council shall consider requests such as extensive travel outside the United States, military service, extended illness of the licensee or his/her immediate family, or a death in the immediate family of the licensee. The written request for extension must be received prior to the renewal deadline. The Council shall issue an extension when it determines that one or more of these criteria have been met or if circumstances beyond the control of the licensee have rendered it impossible for the licensee to obtain the required hours. A licensee who has successfully applied for an extension under this paragraph shall make up all outstanding hours of continuing education within the extension period approved by the Council. Make-up credits may not be used in the next renewal period.
7.3 Acceptable Continuing Education. The overriding consideration in determining whether a specific program qualifies as acceptable continuing education is whether the program is a planned program of learning that contributes directly to the professional competence of the polysomnographer. Continuing education hours awarded for activities/programs approved by the following are appropriate for fulfilling the continuing education requirements pursuant to these regulations:
7.4.1 Audit. Each biennium, the Division of Professional Regulation shall randomly select from the list of renewed licensees a percentage of licensees, determined by the Council, to be audited. The Council may also audit based on complaints or charges against an individual license, relative to compliance with continuing education requirements or based on a finding of past non-compliance during prior audits.
7.4.2 Documentation. When a licensee is selected for audit, the licensee shall be required to submit documentation showing detailed accounting of the various hours claimed by the licensee. Licensees selected for random audit are required to supplement the attestation with supporting materials which may include a syllabus, agenda, itinerary or brochure published by the sponsor of the activity and a document showing proof of attendance (i.e., certificate, a signed letter from the sponsor attesting to attendance, report of passing test score). The Council shall attempt to verify the hours shown on the documentation provided by the licensee. Upon completion of the review, the Council will determine whether the licensee's hours meet the requirements of these rules.
188.8.131.52 Any continuing education that is rejected must be replaced by acceptable continuing education within a reasonable period of time established by the Council. This continuing education will not be counted towards the next renewal period.
7.4.3 Council Review and Hearing Process. The Council shall review all documentation requested of any licensee shown on the audit list. If the Council initially determines the licensee has not met the requirements, the licensee shall be notified and a hearing will be held pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act. This hearing will be conducted to determine if the licensee has met the requirement and if not, if there are any extenuating circumstances justifying the noncompliance with these requirements. Unjustified noncompliance with these regulations shall be considered unprofessional conduct in the practice of polysomnography and subject to discipline.
7.4.4 Sanctions for Unjustified Noncompliance. The minimum penalty for the first finding of unjustified noncompliance shall be a letter of reprimand and a $250.00 monetary penalty. The minimum penalty for the second finding of unjustified noncompliance shall be a thirty-day license suspension.
8.1 Application. An application for a license to practice polysomnography must be completed on a form provided by the Council and returned to the Division of Professional Regulation with the required, non-refundable fee.
8.2.8 Applicants for licensure by endorsement must provide the statute and regulations pertaining to the licensure requirements for polysomnographers in the state where the applicant currently holds a license so a determination may be made as to whether the licensing requirements of that state are substantially similar to or exceeding the requirements for licensure in Delaware.
9.1 Each license shall be renewed biennially. The failure of the Council to notify a licensee of his/her expiration date and subsequent renewals does not, in any way, relieve the licensee of the requirement to renew his/her license.
9.2.4 attesting that the licensee has active credentials in good standing as either a Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologist CPSGT, RPSGT, or as a National Board of Respiratory Care SDS; and
9.3.1 A license which has expired may, within a period of sixty days thereafter, be reinstated upon payment of all fees as set by the Division of Professional Regulation of the State of Delaware and by the applicant providing documentation establishing that he/she has completed 20 hours of continuing education during the two-year period preceding the application for reinstatement, and that he/she has active credentials in good standing as either a Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologist CPSGT, RPSGT, or as a National Board of Respiratory Care SDS and a current Basic Life Support certification that includes hands on skills training.
9.4 A license may be placed on inactive status at the request of a licensee for no more than five years. An inactive license will convert to expired if it is not reinstated within five years.
10.1 A licensed polysomnographer serving as a supervisor to either a polysomnographic student or trainee accepts total responsibility for the sleep-related services provided by the student or trainee.
11.2 Upon receipt of information concerning a suspected chemically dependent or impaired licensee, the Division of Professional Regulation or its designee shall contact the licensee and inform him or her of the report, provide the licensee information describing the Delaware Professional Health Monitoring Program (DPHMP), and give him or her the opportunity to enter the DPHMP.
11.4 A regulated professional with chemical dependency or impairment due to addiction to drugs or alcohol may enter into the DPHMP and continue to practice, subject to any limitations on practice imposed by either the DPHMP or the Council following a determination that disciplinable conduct has occurred.
11.5 Failure to cooperate fully with the DPHMP, the Division, or any employee of the same, or to comply with their requests for evaluations and screens may disqualify the licensee from the provisions of the DPHMP and there may be activated an immediate investigation and institution of disciplinary proceedings, if appropriate.
11.6.4 Agreement by the licensee that failure to satisfactorily progress shall be reported to the Division of Professional Regulation for investigation and the institution of disciplinary proceedings;
11.7 The licensee’s records of participation in the DPHMP will not reflect disciplinary action if the licensee voluntarily entered the Program and shall not be considered public records open to public inspection. However, the Council may consider such records in setting a disciplinary sanction in any future matter in which the regulated professional's chemical dependency or impairment is an issue.