Physician/scientist pre-registration was below that of last year partially due to the unrest in Baltimore early this year specifically noted in decreased international registration. However the technologist section did meet the projected budget.
1. The ARRT/SNMMI-TS Grant which serves to support nuclear medicine technologists wishing to pursue additional educational opportunities in an effort to advance their professional career. Thirteen $500 awards (1 per chapter), will be offered to each of the SNMMI Chapters. Any chapter not using their money will be passed on to other chapters. The application process has been extended until August 1, 2015. The award will be rewarded in fall of 2015.
2. Continuing Qualifications Requirements (CQR) CQR is a major ARRT initiative and was undertaken to provide tools for technologists to maintain their qualifications over time. It is consistent with the shift in philosophy from “once certified, forever qualified” to a more realistic philosophy of “once certified, forever learning, evolving, and developing.” CQR is a continuing education-based mechanism as opposed to a re-examination mechanism. All certifications and registrations earned in 2011 and thereafter are subject to CQR. The last three years of the 10-year, CQR period is the compliance window so the first group will start their compliance activities in 2018 and must complete them within three years. An excellent CQR overview is provided by the video available on ARRT’s website. FAQs for CQR are periodically being updated on the website.
3. Beginning in 2016, sixteen hours of structured education will be required of candidates applying for post-primary certification and registration (for example, CT). The educational activities must meet the same criteria as ARRT’s biennial CE activities. That is, they must be approved by a RCEEM or must meet the academic credit criterion. This educational requirement is in addition to the clinical experience requirement currently in place.
4. The NMTCB held the first offering of our NMTCB(CT) exam on November 15, 2014. A total of 102 individuals passed this first exam and they all now hold the credential of NMTCB(CT).
4.1. April 17, 2015, 83 individuals passed the exam.
4.2. The next CT exam will be offered Friday, November 20, 2015.
4.3. The application deadline for this next exam is October 1, 2015.
5. NMTCB considering a certification for RSO still in early phases as they evaluate the feasibility of the certification.
6 SNMMI-TS leadership launched a new Quality Initiative program which will focus on increasing quality in all aspects of Nuclear Medicine imaging.
7. The SNMMI-TS introduced a new member-benefit – a FREE Quarterly webinar. The webinar features trends and advancements in the profession.
7.1. There have been two webinars this year:
7.2. January 28 – The Quest for Quality in the New Era of Healthcare Webinar – April Mann
7.3. April 23 – Radiation Safety in SPECT/CT and PET/CT – Cybil Nielsen
8. SNMMI has created the Advanced Associate Council (AAC) to aid those who are interested in developing a Nuclear Medicine Advanced Associate program at their facility. However it should be noted that:
8.1. CMS does not recognize RA (Radiology Associates) as a separate profession. There are 550 individuals in that group but they are not large enough number to motive legislators to make legal changes according to Jerry Reid of the ARRT.
8.2.There are only 13 NMAA to date however; it is believed that NMAA will be viewed differently than RA’s since NMAA are able to do some limited dictations.
9. The University of Missouri had its first productive run of a generator of 400 Ci. This is very promising news for the domestic production of 99mTc.
10. Last year, Congress passed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. It included a cost-control mechanism that requires professionals to consult AUC via a clinical decision support tool before they order advanced diagnostic imaging services, including nuclear medicine procedures. By November 15, the HHS Secretary must choose which AUCs will be included in the program. Accordingly, the Guidance Oversight Committee is developing AUC for four high-volume nuclear medicine procedures:
10.1. Bone Scan
10.2. V/Q Scan
10.4. PET/CT Restaging
11. In Sept 2013, CMS decided there was insufficient evidence to cover PET amyloid brain scans for evaluating patients with cognitive decline or suspected AD. It did allow one scan per patient through Coverage with Evidence Development (CED). Members of the Amyloid Imaging Coverage with Evidence Development (AICED) Workgroup (a joint effort of the AA, SNMMI, ACRIN and WMIS) developed a CED study for PET amyloid imaging. It has evolved into a protocol entitled “Imaging Dementia – Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) Study. The study was approved by CMS on March 25 and needs 18000 patients over next 2 years. The closest site for PSWTC is UCLA Medical Center.
12. In April of 2015 the American Board of Radiology (ABR) and American Board of Nuclear Medicine (ABNM) met to discuss developing a single training pathway that incorporates diagnostic radiology (DR) core curriculum and dedicated Nuclear Medicine (NM) curriculum resulting in a primary certificate in NM/DR.
12.1. SNMMI responded June 4, 2015 with a number of concerns and was not supportive of the measure until questions from all stakeholders are addressed.