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Senate hearing on chiropractor bill spurs concerns

Society CMO Donn Dexter, MD, Byron Crouse, MD, and Elizabeth Yun, MD, raise concerns over a proposed chiropractor bill during a State Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing on Tuesday. In a rare legislative committee hearing scheduled after the Wisconsin State Legislature’s adjournment for the biennium, the State Senate Health and Human Services Committee held an informational hearing Tuesday on 2015 Senate Bill 762, which would create a new health care profession called Primary Spine Care Practitioner (PSCP). The Wisconsin Medical Society was invited to speak at the hearing; Society Chief Medical Officer Donn Dexter, MD, joined two other physicians raising concerns about the bill.

Senate Bill 762 is familiar to those who attended Doctor Day 2016 earlier this year as physicians included the issue in their discussions with legislators. Under the bill, chiropractors completing certain education requirements and additional “clinical rotation hours” would become a PSCP, which would allow, among other provisions:

  • The PCSPs being able to refer to themselves as a “doctor of spinal medicine.”
  • Authorization to practice medicine as it relates to “conditions of the spine and of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and nervous systems.”
  • Prescribing and administering drugs, including narcotics.
  • Administering general anesthesia under the “direction” of a physician.

Doctor Dexter informed the committee of the Society’s deep concerns over the significant scope expansion, citing the rigorous training physicians complete before being allowed to practice medicine, compared to the education and training required for a PSCP in the bill. In his testimony (including this memo), Dr. Dexter stressed that the proposal does not adequately answer questions the Society asks whenever scope of practice-related proposals emerge. Doctor Dexter was joined at the hearing table by two other Society members, Byron Crouse, MD, (representing the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians) and Elizabeth Yun, MD (representing the Wisconsin Society of Anesthesiologists).

With the state legislature out of session until the 2017-2018 biennium, it is very unlikely SB 762 will receive any more action this year. For more information, contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government and Legal Affairs Department.

Back to May 26, 2016 Medigram