New Mexico requires licensure for imaging professionals

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New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has signed House Bill 498 into law, requiring personnel who perform diagnostic medical sonography or MRI procedures to be licensed by the state of New Mexico.

New Mexico becomes the first state to require licensure for sonography professionals and only the second state to require licensure for MRI technologists, according to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). Radiography, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy technologists have been required to be licensed in New Mexico since 1983. The new law takes effect July 1.

ASRT said that the bill's passage and signing was the culmination of a joint effort of State Representative Jeff Steinborn of Dona Ana County, the ASRT, the New Mexico Environment Department and the Society for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

"New Mexico takes a huge step forward by becoming the first state to include sonography and only the second state to include MR in medical imaging regulations," said ASRT President Linda Holden, MS, RT. "Citizens can reasonably be assured that the individual who performs an imaging procedure is educationally prepared, clinically competent and can produce evidence of both."

Oregon has a bill similar to HB 498 pending in its legislature. Like New Mexico's bill, the Oregon bill will license sonography and MR. The Oregon Legislature is currently in session and is not scheduled to adjourn until June 30. However, West Virginia was the first state to regulate MR.