Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106


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Moved Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
SB  42-NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE TASK FORCE                                                                                       
3:21:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
SENATE BILL NO.  42 "An Act extending the reporting  date for and                                                               
the termination date  of the Task Force on  Naturopathic Scope of                                                               
Practice; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
JOE  MICHEL,  Staff  to  Senator   Ralph  Seekins,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, presented the sponsor statement  for SB 42 on behalf                                                               
of  Senator  Seekins,  and  stated that  this  bill  extends  the                                                               
reporting  date for  the termination  and [progress]  report from                                                               
the naturopathic task force.  He explained:                                                                                     
     [Senate Bill 42]  is an extension of  [Senate Bill 306]                                                                    
     which was  a product  of the Twenty-Third  Alaska State                                                                    
     Legislature ...  and established a task  force to study                                                                    
     the  scope of  practice of  naturopathic medicine.   By                                                                    
     statute,  the task  force was  charged with  addressing                                                                    
     the  following six  things:   the  comparable level  of                                                                    
     education  and  training  of  naturopaths  and  medical                                                                    
     doctors, the appropriate scope  of practice relating to                                                                    
     the   use   of   legend  or   prescription   drugs   by                                                                    
     naturopaths,  the  appropriate  scope of  practice  for                                                                    
     non-pharmacological    treatments     by    naturopaths                                                                    
     including   minor   surgeries,    the   structure   and                                                                    
     operations of  collaborative protocols  and agreements,                                                                    
     issues    relating   to    joint   liability    between                                                                    
     collaborating  practitioners   and  any   other  issues                                                                    
     determined  to  be  relevant  by  the  members  of  the                                                                    
     naturopathic task  force.  The  task force was  to have                                                                    
     nine members  ... and  we've met  four times  ... since                                                                    
     the  task  force  has  been  formed.    It  was  to  be                                                                    
     comprised  of  one  Alaska state  senator,  one  Alaska                                                                    
     state  representative, a  member  of  the Alaska  State                                                                    
     Medical   Association,   a   member   of   the   Alaska                                                                    
     Pharmacists Association,  a member of the  Alaska State                                                                    
     Medical    Board,   a    member   representing    nurse                                                                    
     practitioners,  an   employee  of  the   Department  of                                                                    
     Community   and  Economic   Development  (Division   of                                                                    
     Occupational  Licensing)   and  two  members   who  are                                                                    
     licensed  to  practice  naturopathic  medicine  in  the                                                                    
     state  of  Alaska.    The  task  force  was  unable  to                                                                    
     complete  it's  business   within  the  time  parameter                                                                    
     specified in  SB 306, consequently,  SB 42  extends the                                                                    
     task force's charge  into 2005.  SB 42  is identical to                                                                    
     the previous  bill, SB 306,  except for the  report and                                                                    
     termination  dates have  been  changed  to December  1,                                                                    
     2005 and February 1, 2006, respectively.                                                                                   
3:24:03 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER inquired as to  the definition of the word                                                               
"legend" on page 1, line 11 of SB 42.                                                                                           
MR.  MICHEL stated  that the  word  correlates with  prescription                                                               
drugs and  the different  levels of  prescription drugs  that are                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER   questioned  how  "legend"   differs  in                                                               
meaning from the prescription drugs.                                                                                            
MR. MICHEL said that he did not know.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  inquired as  to the task  force committee                                                               
meeting schedule.                                                                                                               
MR. MICHEL stated the task  force was not officially formed until                                                               
late November  of last  year.   He said that  the task  force met                                                               
once  before  the  New  Year,  and  three  times  in  Juneau  via                                                               
3:25:49 PM                                                                                                                    
WAYNE ADERHOLD  stated that  he urges  the passing  of SB  42 and                                                               
extension  of the  naturopathic  task force  for  the benefit  of                                                               
constituents.  He said that  the naturopathic task force recently                                                               
submitted  a reasonable  proposal for  dealing with  prescriptive                                                               
rights and  Senator Seekins is facilitating  careful and complete                                                               
examinations of all pertinent issues.  He said:                                                                                 
     I,  and   a  growing   number  of  Alaskans,   rely  on                                                                    
     naturopathic  physicians  for  a large  and  increasing                                                                    
     portion of  my health care  ... they clearly  adhere to                                                                    
     the foundation of medicine ...  there is a lot at stake                                                                    
     for the Alaskan  consumers on the outcome  of this task                                                                    
     force and the resulting legislation.   I can document a                                                                    
     number of incidents  over the past few  years where the                                                                    
     provisions of  the proposed changes and  privileges for                                                                    
     naturopathic   physicians  would   have  benefited   me                                                                    
     directly,  both  from a  health  care  and an  economic                                                                    
     standpoint.  Please do not  lose sight of the fact that                                                                    
     this is largely a consumer issue.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  commented that  he supports  extending the                                                               
timelines for the task force.                                                                                                   
CHAIR WILSON  said that she  supports giving the task  force more                                                               
time.   She mentioned that there  is a zero fiscal  note attached                                                               
to SB 42.                                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA stated  that  she  remembered hearing  how                                                               
necessary a  task force  was in  the past, and  that it  seems as                                                               
though [SB 42] should be given a chance.                                                                                        
3:29:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON moved  to report  SB 42  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  "zero"                                                               
fiscal note.   There being no objection, SB 42  was reported from                                                               
the  House   Health,  Education  and  Social   Services  Standing                                                               

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