January 5, 2017—After three plus years of hard work, the Northeast Ohio Academy of Chiropractic was successful in improving and clarifying the Ohio chiropractic scope of practice with the passage of House Bill 276 (HB 276). The NOAC is a volunteer organization that was established in 1969. The primary objective of our organization is to protect chiropractors rights to practice. HB 276, sponsored by Representative Kirk Schuring, was passed unanimously by both the Ohio Senate on December 9th and the House earlier in the year.
The bill was signed by Governor Kasich on January 4, 2017 and the new law will take effect in 90 days. Under this bill, the doctor of chiropractic now has the authority to administer, sell, distribute recommend, or provide advice involving nutrition-related items and therapies, drugs available without a prescription and other medical goods. This clarification in our scope will protect your ability to effectively manage the chiropractic patient in an ever- changing health care market.
Specifically, this revision states:
A chiropractor may administer, sell, distribute, recommend or provide advice regarding any of the following to restore or maintain the health of the chiropractor’s patients: vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, glandular extracts, botanical substances, herbal therapies, homeopathic remedies, drugs that are available without a prescription, or durable and non-durable medical goods and devices. The authority of a chiropractor to engage in these activities does not affect the authority of any other health care professional, including a dietician licensed under chapter 4759 of the Revised Code, to engage in any of the same activities.
This legislation will help to protect the public as well as the doctor of chiropractic as you will now be able to openly discuss the use or abuse of commonly used drugs that do not require a prescription. It does not compel the chiropractor to recommend or dispense products that are available without a prescription. It seeks to secure the chiropractors ability to meet the documentation (medical records) requirements from the Affordable Care Act and the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive program.
Chiropractors are required to document three drug related objectives to meet the meaningful use measures including:
- Drug to drug and drug to allergy interaction checks
- Maintain an active medication list
- Maintain an active medication allergy list.
When the FDA decides to regulate any nutritional products, vitamins and minerals this legislation will allow chiropractors to continue offering these products to their patients.
This legislation protects our ability to manage our patients as a physician; it clarifies our scope of practice and eliminates the possibility that your right to practice would be left open to interpretation.
We have been informed by our lobbyists that other provider groups do not understand our education and intend on challenging our authority to practice in the upcoming legislative session. There are groups that do not feel that we are qualified to offer our patients nutritional counseling, herbal remedies, bracing, or orthotics to support or improve posture or joint function. We have won the day, but it is important that everyone joins their local, state and national associations to ensure that chiropractic continues to thrive.