February 1, 2010 — Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law Jan. 5, 2010, Senate Bill 968 and House Bill 5091, legislation designed to restore Michigan’s chiropractic scope of practice to the level enjoyed by chiropractic patients prior to the rewrite of the Public Health Code in the late 1970s.
The bills passed the legislature with strong bipartisan support.
“This is a great victory for Michigan patients and healthcare consumers,” said Dr. Don Reno, President of the Michigan Association of Chiropractors (MAC). “Increased access to chiropractic care will help lower skyrocketing healthcare costs while increasing patient choice. Under our old scope, chiropractors across Michigan have had one hand tied behind their backs, and it’s the patients who suffered, because they were not allowed to receive the full range of chiropractic services. This is a giant step forward.”
Prior to the enactment of these bills, Michigan had the most restrictive chiropractic scope of practice in the nation. The bills bring Michigan into line with the vast majority of other states, including all of the neighboring Great Lakes states, in which doctors of chiropractic are currently allowed to perform the services outlined in the bills.
Doctors of chiropractic are highly trained and educated as primary healthcare providers in an integrated healthcare system. Chiropractic colleges require a minimum of four academic years of professional study, including clinical experience under strict supervision, with a curriculum concentrated in such topics as anatomy, physiology, public health, microbiology, pathology, biochemistry, neurology orthopedics, geriatrics, and nutrition.
A chiropractic education also strongly stresses physical and laboratory diagnosis, including differential diagnosis, the systematic method physicians use to identify the condition causing a patient’s symptoms.
Michigan’s old scope also has a negative impact on the economy, driving some DCs out of the state entirely and discouraging newly graduated doctors from moving in.
More importantly, it causes some patients to take their healthcare dollars to Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin in order to receive the full benefits of chiropractic treatment.
There are also numerous studies that make a compelling case for chiropractic as an effective way to control the skyrocketing costs of Michigan’s healthcare system, by reducing the rates of surgery, advanced imaging and inpatient hospital care, as well as reducing lost work days and speedier patient recovery times. And, numerous studies of worker’s compensation data reveal that chiropractic care effectively gets workers back on the job more quickly, improving productivity and business profitability.
“The previous scope completely ignored not only the scientific and educational foundation of chiropractic care, but also the economic impact that a restricted scope has on the state of Michigan,” said Dr. R. James Gregg, Chairman of the MAC Government Relations Committee. “With Michigan in dire financial straits, every opportunity to boost our economy and curb costs must be explored. Chiropractic care can be an essential element to a streamlined and more efficient health care system.”
Source: Michigan Association of Chiropractors, www.chiromi.com