Speech-Language Pathologists - Provisions Regarding Instrumental Procedures - Flexible Fiberoptic Nasendoscopic

Senate Bill 1379, effective January 1, 2003, enacted provisions authorizing speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to perform nasendoscopic procedures in acute care settings under the direct authorization of an otolaryngologist and the supervision of a physician, provided that an otolaryngologist had certified the SLP's competency performing the flexible fiberoptic nasendoscopic procedures. The law requires the SLP to demonstrate such competency by performing a minimum of 25 flexible fiberoptic nasendoscopic procedures to the satisfaction of the otolaryngologist.

During the 2005-2006 legislative session, Senate Bill 1285, authored by Senator Sam Aanestad expanded the authority for SLPs to perform the procedures in settings other than acute care facilities as long as the facility where the procedures would be performed, has documented emergency medical backup procedures, including a physician or other appropriate medical professionals being readily available, in case of an adverse event.

Note: SB 1285 also incorporated suctioning as an authorized procedure for an SLP provided that the suctioning was performed in connection with a swallowing evaluation or therapy session.

[See specific language: Business and Professions Code Section 2530.2 (d)-(g)]