Current Status Bill Number:
286Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19970130Primary Sponsor: ShortAll Sponsors: Short and LeventisDrafted Document Number: res1172.lhsResiding Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Medical Affairs Committee 13 SMASubject: Medical Radiation Health and Safety Act
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 19970130 Introduced, read first time, 13 SMA referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND TITLE 40, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 62 SO AS TO ENACT THE "MEDICAL RADIATION HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT"; TO CREATE THE SOUTH CAROLINA RADIOLOGIC TECHNOLOGISTS COMMISSION, TO PROVIDE FOR ITS MEMBERS, POWERS, AND DUTIES, AND TO ESTABLISH CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, PENALTIES, AND FEES; TO AMEND SECTION 1-30-65 AND SECTION 40-1-40, AS AMENDED, BOTH RELATING TO OCCUPATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL BOARDS UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING, AND REGULATION, SO AS TO INCLUDE THE SOUTH CAROLINA RADIOLOGIC TECHNOLOGISTS COMMISSION; AND TO AMEND SECTION 11-5-210, RELATING TO FUNDING AND REVENUE REQUIREMENTS FOR PROFESSIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING BOARDS, SO AS TO INCLUDE THE SOUTH CAROLINA RADIOLOGIC TECHNOLOGISTS COMMISSION.
Whereas, the General Assembly finds that in the interest of public health, the citizens of this State should be protected from excessive and improper exposure to ionizing radiation. It is the purpose of this act to establish minimum standards of education and to provide for the appropriate examination and certification of persons using radioactive materials or equipment emitting ionizing radiation on humans for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Title 40 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 40-62-10. This chapter may be cited as the `Medical Radiation Health and Safety Act'.
Section 40-62-20. As used in this chapter:
(1) `Commission' means the South Carolina Radiologic Technologists Commission.
(2) `Certificate' means a certificate issued by the commission or by an entity recognized by the commission authorizing the certificate holder to use radioactive materials or equipment emitting ionizing radiation on humans for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(3) `Licensed practitioner' means a person licensed to practice medicine, dentistry, podiatry, chiropractic, or osteopathy in this State.
(4) `Limited practice radiographer' means a person who conducts diagnostic radiology exams limited to the performance of specific procedures or applications of ionizing radiation to specific parts of the human body.
(5) `Limited chest radiographer' means a person who conducts diagnostic radiography exams of the chest, not to include mammography.
(6) `Nuclear medicine technologist' means a person, other than a licensed practitioner, who prepares and administers radiopharmaceutical agents to humans for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
(7) `Radiation therapist' means a person, other than a licensed practitioner, who applies radiation to humans for therapeutic purposes.
(8) `Radiographer' means a person, other than a licensed practitioner, who applies radiation to humans for diagnostic purposes. This may include imaging modalities such as mammography, cardiovascular-interventional technology, and computed tomography.
(9) `Radiologic technologist' means a person who is a limited practice radiographer, radiographer, radiation therapist, or nuclear medicine technologist certified under this chapter.
Section 40-62-30. (A) No person, other than a licensed practitioner or a radiologic technologist certified under this chapter may use ionizing radiation or equipment emitting or detecting ionizing radiation on humans for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.
(B) No person knowingly may employ or designate as a radiologic technologist a person required by this chapter to hold a certificate who does not hold a certificate issued under this chapter.
(C) No person holding a certificate issued under this chapter may use radioactive substances or equipment emitting or detecting ionizing radiation on humans for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes unless under the direction and supervision of a licensed practitioner and unless so directed by prescription of a licensed practitioner.
(D) No person who is not certified under this chapter shall take, use, or exhibit the title of `Limited Practice Radiographer', `Radiographer', `Radiation Therapist', or `Nuclear Medicine Technologist', or any other title, sign, display, or declaration that tends to lead the public to believe that the person is authorized to apply ionizing radiation on humans for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.
Section 40-62-40. (A) Nothing in this chapter limits, enlarges, or affects the practice of a licensed practitioner.
(B) A resident physician or a student enrolled in and attending a school or college of medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic, dentistry, podiatry, or radiologic technology who applies ionizing radiation to humans while under the supervision of a licensed practitioner or direct supervision of the appropriate level of a licensed radiologic technologist is not required to be licensed under this chapter.
Section 40-62-50. There is created the South Carolina Radiologic Technologists Commission which consists of eleven members appointed by the Governor. All members must be residents of this State. Five of the members must be radiologic technologists, each with at least five years experience. Of the five, one must be a limited practice radiographer, one must be a diagnostic radiographer, one must be a radiation therapist, one must be a nuclear medicine technologist, and one must be an educator of the radiologic sciences or the director of a state-supported radiologic science program. At least one of the five must practice in a hospital setting. The remaining members of the commission must consist of one consumer; three physicians, one of whom must be a family physician and one of whom must be a radiologist; one dentist; and one chiropractor. The Commissioner of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control shall designate one medical radiation physicist who shall serve as a non-voting, ex officio member of the commission. All three physicians, the dentist, and the chiropractor must be licensed in and practice in South Carolina. The radiologic technologists initially appointed to the commission must be eligible for certification pursuant to this chapter; thereafter, radiologic technologists appointed to the commission must be certified pursuant to this chapter and practice in this State. An individual, group, or association may nominate any qualified individuals to the Governor for consideration.
Section 40-62-60. Members of the commission shall serve for terms of four years and until their successors are appointed and qualify; except that of the members first appointed to the commission, six shall serve for three years, and five shall serve for two years, and until their successors are appointed and qualify. Vacancies shall be filled for an unexpired term in the manner provided by original appointment. No person may serve as a member of the commission for more than two consecutive four-year terms, except that if a person is appointed to fill an unexpired term, the person may be reappointed for two additional four-year terms. The Governor, after notice and opportunity for hearing, may remove a member of the commission for neglect of duty, incompetence, revocation or suspension of certification, or other dishonorable conduct. Members of the commission shall receive mileage, subsistence, and per diem provided by law for members of state boards and commissions for each day actually engaged in the duties of the office. These expenses must be paid from the fees received by the commission under this chapter.
Section 40-62-70. The commission shall meet at least twice a year and at other times upon the call of the chairman. Six members of the commission constitute a quorum, but no action of the commission is valid unless authorized by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present. Each year the commission shall select from its membership a chairman, vice-chairman, and secretary to serve one-year terms and until their successors are elected.
Section 40-62-80. An annual report must be prepared and filed by the commission as specified by the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.
Section 40-62-90. The commission:
(1) shall administer and enforce this chapter;
(2) shall promulgate regulations, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act and after consultation with the public and other concerned parties, to carry out the purposes of this chapter, including, but not limited to, regulations relating to the establishment of ethical standards of practice for persons holding a certificate issued under this chapter;
(3) shall establish the certification standards for radiographer (R), limited chest radiographer (LCR), radiation therapist (T), limited practice radiographer (LR), and nuclear medicine technologist (N). Persons holding these certificates must be recognized by this nomenclature;
(4) shall have the responsibility of evaluating the qualifications of, supervising the examinations of, and making the appropriate recommendation regarding the issuance of certificates to qualified applicants;
(5) shall conduct hearings and keep records and minutes necessary to carry out its functions and shall provide notice of all hearings authorized under this chapter pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act;
(6) shall establish certificate and examination fees by regulation;
(7) may establish continuing professional education requirements which are the same requirements as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Section 40-62-100. The commission shall admit to examination for certification an applicant who shall pay a nonrefundable fee established by the commission and submit satisfactory evidence, verified by oath or affirmation, that the applicant:
(1) at the time of application is a least 18 years of age;
(2) has received a high school diploma or its equivalent;
(3) has successfully completed a course of study in radiography, nuclear medicine technology, or radiation therapy or a course of study or training program appropriate for a limited practice radiography certificate, approved by the commission in accordance with standards promulgated by the commission in regulation;
(4) has not before or during the pendency of an application to the commission been guilty of an act, omission, condition, or circumstance which would provide cause for disciplinary action under this chapter.
Section 40-62-110. (A) An applicant for certification shall pass a certification examination designated and approved by the commission which covers the basic subject matter of radiologic technology, skills, and techniques.
(B) The commission shall hold an examination at least every six months at times and places within the State as the commission considers necessary and appropriate.
(C) An applicant who fails the examination may reapply for the examination if the applicant complies with regulations established by the commission.
(D) Each application for examination for certification must be accompanied by the fee prescribed by the commission.
Section 40-62-120. (A) In lieu of its own examination, the commission shall accept a current certificate by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists or other credentialing body recognized by the commission.
(B) In lieu of its own examination, the commission shall accept a current certificate, registration, or license as a radiologic technologist issued by another state, if the commission determines that the standards in the other state are at least as stringent as those established by the commission.
Section 40-62-130. (A) The commission shall issue a certificate to an applicant who has successfully passed the commission examination or has otherwise been qualified under this chapter and has paid the prescribed fees. The certificate is valid for two years from the date of its issuance.
(B) Upon application for examination for initial certification, the commission may issue a temporary certificate to a graduate of an approved school who meets the qualification for certification, pending result of the first certifying examination scheduled by the commission following the applicant's graduation. For a limited practice radiographer, the commission may issue a temporary certificate to the applicant if the applicant has completed a course of study at an approved school or has successfully completed a training program approved by the commission. A temporary certificate expires thirty days after the commission gives written notice of the results of the examination held following the issuance of the temporary certificate. A temporary certificate may not be renewed or another issued to the same person.
(C) A radiologic technologist shall display the official certificate document or a verified copy of the certificate in each place of regular employment.
Section 40-62-140. (A) A certificate issued under this chapter must be renewed every two years without examination upon application for renewal on a form prescribed by the commission. The applicant is responsible for obtaining, completing, signing, and forwarding the renewal application to the commission with the required fee. Renewal of a certificate issued under this chapter shall be contingent upon the fulfillment of continuing education requirements as promulgated in regulation by the commission in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.
(B) The commission may deny an application for renewal for any reason which would justify the denial of an original application for a certificate. An application for renewal is considered delinquent and subject to a late fee if it is not received within thirty days after the due date.
(C) A radiologic technologist whose certificate has lapsed and who has ceased activities as a radiologic technologist for not more than two years may have this certificate reinstated upon payment of the renewal fee established by the commission. As a condition for reinstatement the commission shall require submission of evidence satisfactory to the commission that the applicant has fulfilled continuing education requirements as promulgated by the commission.
(D) When the certificate of a person has been revoked, reapplication to the commission may be made no sooner than two years after the date of the commission's order revoking the certificate.
Section 40-62-150. The commission may, upon its own motion, and shall, upon the written complaint of an aggrieved person, investigate the activities of an applicant or a person certified under this chapter and may deny, suspend, revoke, or otherwise restrict a certificate or impose a public or private reprimand or other discipline if the commission finds an applicant or certified radiologic technologist:
(1) is guilty of fraud or material deception in the procurement or holding of a certificate;
(2) has been convicted of a felony in a court of competent jurisdiction, either within or outside of this State, unless the conviction has been reversed and the holder of the certificate discharged and acquitted; or if the holder has been pardoned with full restoration of civil rights, in which case the certificate must be restored;
(3) has knowingly aided or abetted a person in conducting themselves as or performing duties of a radiologic technologist when the person is not a radiologic technologist or otherwise authorized by this chapter to perform the duties of a certificate holder under this chapter;
(4) has undertaken or engaged in any practice beyond the scope of duties permitted a certificate holder under this chapter;
(5) lacks the professional competence to practice radiologic technology;
(6) has been negligent in practicing as a radiologic technologist or has failed to properly observe radiation safety principles;
(7) has impersonated a certificate holder or former certificate holder or is performing duties of a radiologic technologist under an assumed name;
(8) has sustained any medical problem, disability, or addiction which, in the opinion of the commission, would impair professional competence;
(9) has interpreted a diagnostic image for a licensed practitioner, a patient, the patient's family, or the public;
(10) has applied ionizing radiation to humans without a prescription from a licensed practitioner;
(11) has applied ionizing radiation to humans without the direction and supervision of a licensed practitioner;
(12) has failed to pay any applicable fees;
(13) has violated a law of another state regulating radiologic technologists while visiting or residing in that state;
(14) has violated any provision of this chapter or regulation promulgated under this chapter.
Section 40-62-160. For the purposes of an investigation or proceeding under this chapter, the commission or a person designated by the commission may administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, take testimony, and require the production of documents or records which the commission considers relevant to the inquiry. In the case of refusal to obey a subpoena issued to a person and upon application by the commission, an administrative law judge may issue an order requiring the person to appear before the commission, produce documentary evidence, and give other evidence concerning the matter under inquiry.
Section 40-62-170. (A) Before the commission imposes on a certificate holder a sanction permitted by this chapter or denies issuance of a certificate to an applicant, the commission shall provide a hearing in accordance with Article 3, Chapter 23 of Title 1, the South Carolina Administrative Procedures Act.
(B) The date of the hearing may not be less than thirty or more than one hundred days after the date the certificate holder or applicant is notified of the charges.
(C) If a certificate holder or applicant fails to appear at a hearing after reasonable notice, the commission may proceed to hear the evidence against the certificate holder or applicant and take action as if the certificate holder or applicant had been present. A notice of hearing or final decision of the commission in a disciplinary proceeding must be served upon the certificate holder or applicant by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of record on file with the commission.
(D) A decision by the commission to revoke or suspend a certification or to restrict, limit, or otherwise discipline a certificate holder must be by majority vote of the total membership of the commission. A disciplinary action is subject to review by an administrative law judge in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.
(E) A person who has exhausted all administrative remedies available within this chapter and who is aggrieved by a final decision of the commission is entitled to review in accordance with Article 3, Chapter 23 of Title 1, the South Carolina Administrative Procedures Act. The review is limited to the record established by the commission hearing.
(F) No stay or supersedeas may be granted for more than six months pending appeal from a decision by the commission to revoke, suspend, or otherwise restrict a certificate.
Section 40-62-180. (A) If the commission has sufficient evidence that a person is violating a provision of this chapter, in addition to all other remedies, the commission may issue a cease and desist order prohibiting a person from violating this chapter. The cease and desist order is final ten days after it is issued unless the person to whom the order is issued requests a hearing before the commission.
(B) The violation of a cease and desist order of the commission issued under subsection (A) subjects the person violating the order to further proceedings before the commission, and the commission may impose a fine not exceeding three hundred dollars for each transaction constituting a violation of the order. Each day's violation constitutes a separate violation.
(C) Initial review of the decision of the commission entered pursuant to this section is available solely before an administrative law judge.
(D) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit the commission from seeking remedies otherwise available by statute without first seeking a cease and desist order in accordance with this section.
Section 40-62-190. A person who violates a provision of this chapter or a regulation promulgated or an order issued pursuant to this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction must be fined not more than three hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both."
SECTION 2. Section 1-30-65(C) of the 1976 Code is amended by adding at the appropriate place alphabetically:
"Radiologic Technologists Commission, provided for at Section 40-62-10 et seq."
SECTION 3. Section 11-5-210 (A) of the 1976 Code is amended by adding at the appropriate place alphabetically:
"South Carolina Radiologic Technologists Commission".
SECTION 4. Section 40-1-40 (B), as added by Act 453 of 1996, is further amended by adding at the appropriate place alphabetically:
SECTION 5. The following fees are in effect until fees are set in regulations promulgated pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act by the South Carolina Radiologic Technologists Commission as created in Section 40-62-50 of the 1976 Code, as contained in Section 1 of this act:
(1) Examination and one-year permit fee$100.00
(2) Initial certificate fee. . . . 50.00
(3) Permit-certificate renewal fee 50.00
(4) Temporary certificate fee. . . 25.00
(5) Late fee . . . . . . . . . . . 50.00
(6) Duplicate certificate. . . . . 25.00
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the above fees are waived for any current state license holder.
SECTION 6. (A) The South Carolina Radiologic Technologists Commission shall issue a permit for limited practice in radiography to a person:
(1) who has been employed as a radiologic technologist for a period of not less than six months on the effective date of this act; and
(2) who is at least eighteen (18) years of age; and
(3) who has a high school diploma or its equivalent; and
(4) who has completed a training course approved by the commission; and
(5) who has paid a permit fee set by the commission.
(B) The persons issued a permit pursuant to this section must comply with any continuing education requirements established by the commission.
SECTION 7. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor, provided, however, that the certification requirements outlined in this act shall not take effect for a period of one year after the Governor's approval.