Michigan Governor signs bill restoring states scope of practice
LANSING — Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law January 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.
“This is a great victory for Michigan patients and health care consumers,” said Dr. Don Reno, President, working in conjunction with the Michigan Association of Chiropractors (MAC). “An increased scope of Chiropractic to determine exactly which testing procedures and other services access to chiropractic care will help lower skyrocketing are allowed under the bills. It is strongly suggested that all DCs refrain from adding healthcare costs while increasing patient choice. 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.
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 healthcare system.”