May 24,2017—The quest to save diagnosis in Texas is off to a promising start. With the 85th Texas Legislature Session winding down this week, Senate Bill 304 was passed by the Texas House after navigating through the Senate earlier this month and awaits final sign-off from the Senate. The last step in the process is a signature from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
SB 304, known as the Sunset bill, extends the regulation of chiropractors by the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) until 2029. More importantly, language in the bill clarifies that doctors of chiropractic can diagnose the biomechanical condition of the spine and musculoskeletal system.
TCA President Dr. Tyce Hergert called the potential passage of SB 304 a watershed moment for the chiropractic profession in Texas.
“This would be, without a doubt, the most significant legislative victory for Texas chiropractors in decades,” said Hergert, a chiropractor who practices in Southlake, Texas. “TCA’s legislative team began working on the Sunset bill over a year-and-a-half ago and its passage is the result of countless hours by volunteer leaders in Texas and across the country. I’m extremely proud of the entire chiropractic community for pulling together to fight for chiropractic in the Lone Star State. We’re almost there.”
While the right of Texas chiropractors to diagnose appears safe, Hergert cautioned that the battle has only just begun. Next month, TCA will continue its battle against the Texas Medical Association (TMA) in the Appellate Court. TCA is appealing a 2016 decision by the Travis County District Judge Rhonda Hurley in the TMA vs. TBCE law suit, which threated the right of Texas DCs to diagnose, treat nerves and treat the subluxation complex. In her ruling, Hurley declared that TBCE rules regarding these three areas exceeded scope.
“The outcome of this appeal is just as important as our expected legislative victory regarding diagnosis,” Hergert said. “We are bracing for a lengthy and costly trial that will extend until 2018. We also strongly believe this case could reach the Texas Supreme Court in a few years. We’re counting on our friends to continue to support our defense because we still have a long way to go.”
Doctors can help TCA in two ways: 1) make a contribution to TCA’s Chiropractic Development Initiative (CDI), which funds TCA’s advocacy, legal defense and positive public relations efforts, atwww.chirotexas.org/CDI; or become a TCA member at www.chirotexas.org/join-now. Out-of-state DCs and other chiropractic supporters who want to join the fight can become a Friend of TCA member.