May 30, 2017 – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 304, continuing the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) and upholding the right of licensed doctors of chiropractic in Texas to diagnose patients. It caps a historic legislative session for the chiropractic profession in Texas.
The Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners is a state agency that regulates the chiropractic profession in Texas. Along with other state health care agencies, TBCE was under review by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission last year. With the governor’s signature, the state’s chiropractic board will continue through Sept. 1, 2029, in addition to several other modifications to increase patient safety.
Also included in the bill was specific language to be incorporated into the Texas Chiropractic Act that clarifies the right of Texas chiropractors to diagnose. This nullifies a 2016 decision by the Travis County District Court in the Texas Medical Association vs. Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners law suit in which diagnosis was deemed to exceed the scope of practice. With the signing of Senate Bill 304, the matter of diagnosis is settled.
“If the district court’s ruling had been allowed to stand, Texas would have been the only state in which chiropractors are not allowed to diagnose,” said Tyce Hergert, DC, of Grapevine, Texas, president of the Texas Chiropractic Association (TCA) and a chiropractor who practices in Southlake, Texas. “Without this right, it would endanger patient safety and potentially affect insurance reimbursement. We thank the governor for recognizing the importance of this issue and creating greater access to chiropractic care for the citizens of Texas.”
TCA is awaiting the governor’s signature on two other key bills: Senate Bill 679, which would allow chiropractors to legally enter into business partnerships with medical physicians, osteopathic physicians and podiatrists; and House Bill 3024, which would permit chiropractors to remove student-athletes from play from interscholastic competition if there is any suspicion of a concussion.
The two bills are significant and will improve the overall quality of health care in Texas, according to Hergert.
“Research has shown that the cooperation between medical physicians and chiropractors greatly benefits the patient,” Hergert said. “Chiropractors receive specific education and training that allows them to identify the signs and symptoms of a concussion. Having a chiropractor on the sideline or the field of play offers another layer of protection for those involved in sports activities.”
The 85th Texas Legislative Session has seen the chiropractic profession make major strides, with one-sided votes in favor of chiropractic bills in both the Senate and House and now the governor’s signature on a landmark bill. Hergert believes it’s not by accident.
“Our state’s leadership is coming around to the idea that chiropractic care is safe, non-invasive, drug-free and has proven long-term benefits,” Dr. Hergert said. “We strongly believe that chiropractic is a solution to the opioid epidemic and we thank state officials for passing legislation that will allow Texans to access chiropractic care.”
Update: On Sunday, May 28, 2017, the TBCE Sunset Bill SB304 was signed into law on by Governor Greg Abbott in Austin Texas.
Source: Texas Chiropractic Association