The following is a synopsis of issues, policies, and positions that the Board of Trustees has acted on since the last reporting.
2018 Board of Trustees Election Results
Ballots for the 2018 Board of Trustees election have been counted and the election results ratified. Newly elected trustees are:
The newly elected trustees will be installed at the Annual Business Meeting Luncheon held in conjunction with the 2018 ASET Annual Conference, August 16 – 18, in New Orleans, LA.
ASET Board Adopts ASNM Positon Statement on Business Practices
This past spring there has been an increase in reporting in certain parts of the country on the trend in surgeons taking ownership stakes in small LCC subsidiaries through which they are able to profit from the IONM that they refer on their own surgical cases. In response, the American Society of Neurophysiological Monitoring (ASNM) adopted a new position statement on business practices relating to neuromonitoring. The statement reads in part:
“It is the position of the ASNM that business practices related to the provision of IONM should be performed in accordance with the AMA Code of Medical Ethics. By extension, it is the position of the ASNM that the existence of certain financial arrangements (i.e., kickbacks or self-referrals) between an IONM provider and a referring physician/surgeon, whether direct or indirect, have the potential to endanger patient safety. Specifically, kickbacks and self-referrals create the potential for over-utilization and substandard patient care when a physician/surgeon refers a case to an IONM provider based on financial considerations. The ASNM does not condone kickback arrangements, irrespective of whether or not 1) patients give informed consent for their healthcare provider(s) to engage in these practices and 2) the kickback arrangement is technically considered legal in any state or jurisdiction. Self-referral arrangements should be structured properly with the advice of counsel and with patient care always foremost.”
Read the complete position statement here.
While ASET’s Statement of Professional Ethics calls to “Maintain professional integrity by avoiding circumstances where there may be compromise of professional conduct or where incidence of fraud, deception, and conflict of interest may arise,” the Society does not have a position statement on the specific topic of referrals by physicians who may have a financial interest in a monitoring service. Hence, during its May 23, 2018 quarterly monitoring webinar, the ASET Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed ASNM’s position statement.
ASET Board Endorses AAST Polysomnography Job Descriptions and Competencies
As has been reported in previous issues of this newsletter, the ASET Standards & Practices Committee has been revising and updating the job descriptions for neurodiagnostics personnel. Rather than reinvent the wheel, the committee requested review and recommendation from the Polysomnography Interest Section leaders and committee’s subject matter experts (SMEs) as to whether ASET should continue to maintain its own set of job descriptions and competencies for sleep technologist or consider endorsing the job descriptions and national competencies promulgated by the American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST). As a result of the SME review, the Standards & Practices Committee recommended, and the ASET Board of Trustees voted unanimously, to endorse the following AAST job descriptions for polysomnography: Sleep Trainee; Sleep Technician; Sleep Health Educator; Sleep Center Manager/Director; and Sleep Program Ancillary Staff. The board also voted unanimously to approve the Standards & Practices Committee recommendation to endorse the following AAST core competencies: Age Specific Care and Evaluation; CO2 Monitoring; Home Sleep Apnea Testing (HSAT); Maintenance, Cleaning, and Safety Procedures; PAP Titration; Patient Assessment and Vital Signs Measurement and Documentation; Polysomnography; Pulse Oximetry; Scoring Sleep States and Clinical Events; and Supplemental Low Flow Oxygen Titration.
Policy on Criteria for Including Programs on List of Neurodiagnostic Schools Adopted
In order to provide clarification to interested parties as to what criteria must be met in order to be included on ASET’s website listing of formal neurodiagnostic programs, at its May 23, 2018 quarterly monitoring webinar, the Board unanimously adopted the following policy, “ASET maintains a list of formal Neurodiagnostic Technology Programs on its website to promote the growth of a qualified neurodiagnostic workforce. The listings include both seated programs and on-line programs, CAAHEP accredited programs and those that have not obtained CAAHEP accreditation. ASET requires that the minimum length of the program be 12 months to be included on the list, with the exception of CAAHEP accreditation for a program shorter than 12 months. The amount of knowledge and skill required to meet basic competency is significant and any less time spent in a formal program would be insufficient to produce an adequately trained technologist.” Questions about the new policy should be directed to ASET’s Director of Education Faye Mc Nall, MEd, R. EEG T., FASET, at [email protected] or 816.931.1120, ext. 108.
Bylaws Amendment To Be Voted On At Annual Business Meeting
Per Article 18, Section 2, of the ASET Bylaws, amendments to the bylaws that “effect a re-definition or cancellation of all or part of the membership categories” require a full vote of the membership in order to be adopted. Amendments requiring a vote of the membership are to be circulated to the membership at least thirty days in advance of the annual business meeting of the Society. The following Bylaws amendments as already unanimously approved by the ASET Board of Trustees will be placed before the membership for a vote at the 2018 Annual Business Meeting of the Society. The business meeting will be held in conjunction with the ASET 2018 Annual Conference on Thursday, August 16, beginning at 12 noon in the Celestin DE Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans:
ASET Bylaws –
Article 5, Members
Section 2 Qualifications, Rights and Privileges of Membership
d. Charter/Lifetime: Any person who participated in the organizational meeting in Atlantic City in June 1959 is considered a lifetime member. In addition, the past presidents of ASET shall be deemed lifetime members. As such, they maintain a Lifetime Active Membership and shall be entitled to all membership privileges including the right to vote, to hold
office and committee appointments and receive the official publications of the Society. Lifetime Active members shall not be eligible to serve as an officer, and will be ineligible to serve for trustee for twenty (20) years upon their expired term as Immediate Past President.
Article 8, Officers
Section 3, Eligibility
a. Only Active members in good standing, with recent experience [preferably within the past five years] on the ASET board, shall be eligible to serve as officers of this Society. Lifetime Active members are ineligible to serve or be appointed as officers.
Article 9, Board of Trustees
Section 9, Eligibility
a. Only an Active member in good standing who has maintained membership for three out of the five years immediately preceding the election shall be eligible to serve as a trustee. Lifetime Active members are ineligible to serve or be appointed as trustee for twenty (20) years upon their expired term as Immediate Past President.
Strikethrough text represents current bylaws language proposed to be deleted. Bold text represents new language proposed to be adopted.
It is important to note that the proposed bylaws amendments are based on the belief that for past presidents there should be more time between service on the board than just the current three years specified in the bylaws for trustees at-large so there is greater opportunity for more members to serve as trustees.
ASET Members Have Free Access to OSET E-Learning Portal
As an organization member of the International Organisation of Societies for Electrophysiological Technology (OSET), members of ASET are provided free access to the OSET E-leaning portal, located at osetedu.org. ASET members will need to register one time in order to first gain access to the portal. You also will need a password. The password for access to the portal for 2018 through January 2019 is [email protected] The E-learning portal includes discussion forums, newsletter exchange, and courses on the various neurodiagnostic modalities based on lectures presented at the OSET Congress held in 2015 in Turku, Finland.
This article was written by Arlen Reimnitz, Executive Director at ASET.