Legislature(2009 - 2010)BUTROVICH 205

03/30/2009 01:30 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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Audio Topic
01:36:59 PM Start
01:37:22 PM SB70
01:45:50 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
Moved Out of Committee 3/27/09
Moved SB 70 Out of Committee
                       SB  70-NATUROPATHS                                                                                   
1:37:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DAVIS announced consideration of SB 70.                                                                                   
TOM OBERMEYER, aide  to Senator Davis, provided  a brief overview                                                               
of  SB  70, "relating  to  naturopaths  and  to the  practice  of                                                               
naturopathy; establishing  an Alaska Naturopathic  Medical Board;                                                               
authorizing medical  assistance program coverage  of naturopathic                                                               
services;  and  providing  for  an  effective  date."  This  bill                                                               
provides for a new naturopathic  board with members designated in                                                               
the bill; it  is independent of the state medical  board but does                                                               
come under the auspices of  the state department of licensing. SB
70 expands  the practice  of naturopathy  into minor  surgery and                                                               
prescriptive  rights.  Details of  the  changes  proposed can  be                                                               
found on page 4 of the bill.                                                                                                    
The State  Medical Association opposes the  bill. The naturopaths                                                               
who have testified in favor of  it believe that their training is                                                               
adequate to  provide additional care in  this state, particularly                                                               
in  the underserved  areas, to  assist in  alleviating the  great                                                               
shortage of primary care physicians.                                                                                            
This issue  is not new; this  is the second or  third legislature                                                               
that  has brought  this bill  before the  committee. Naturopathic                                                               
practice is licensed  in at least 15 states and  about 9 of those                                                               
have some  level of prescriptive rights.  Every state's licensing                                                               
is a  little different, which  has made it difficult  to identify                                                               
any  consistency in  the  training  and the  practice  but it  is                                                               
clearly  a complementary  alternative  medical  practice that  is                                                               
increasing throughout the country                                                                                               
CHAIR  DAVIS  asked  if  the   committee  has  any  questions  or                                                               
concerns. She  said she will  open the floor to  public testimony                                                               
and  that it  is her  desire to  move the  bill out  of committee                                                               
1:42:10 PM                                                                                                                    
EMILY   KANE   ND,   Vice  President,   Alaska   Association   of                                                               
Naturopathic  Physicians,   Juneau,  AK,   said  that   Dr.  Lise                                                               
Alschuler,  President,   American  Association   of  Naturopathic                                                               
Physicians, was  scheduled to testify via  teleconference at 2:30                                                               
p.m. but if  the bill is moving out of  committee today, she will                                                               
hold her testimony for the next committee of referral.                                                                          
CHAIR DAVIS  asked Kristin Cox, ND  if she wished to  testify and                                                               
if her testimony would add anything  new to what has already been                                                               
KRISTIN L. COX ND, Rainforest  Naturopathic Medicine, Juneau, AK,                                                               
said no, that her testimony  simply reinforces what has been said                                                               
before in support of SB 70.                                                                                                     
DR.  KANE said  she would  be happy  to take  questions from  the                                                               
CHAIR DAVIS asked  the will of the committee with  regard to this                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS  commented that  he has  "lived through  this bill"                                                               
three or four times  over the years and he is  ready to support a                                                               
motion to move the bill.                                                                                                        
1:43:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  PASKVAN  moved  to  report SB  70  from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There                                                               
being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                         

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