House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Health Care & Wellness Committee
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Concerning the practice of naturopathy.
Sponsors: Representatives DeBolt, Macri, Cody, Harris, Tharinger, Riccelli, Doglio, Kloba, Jinkins and Robinson.
Hearing Date: 2/13/19
Staff: Jim Morishima (786-7191).
Naturopathic medicine is the art and science of the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disorders of the body through the natural processes of the body. Naturopathic medicine includes:
the prescription, dispensing, and use of nutrition and food science;
physical modalities, including modalities that do not exceed those used as of July 22, 2011, in minor office procedures or common diagnostic procedures;
minor office procedures, including (1) care and procedures incident to superficial lacerations, lesions, and abrasions and (2) intramuscular, intravenous, subcutaneous, and intradermal injections of substances consistent with the practice of naturopathic medicine in accordance with rules established by the Secretary of Health;
naturopathic medicines, including legend drugs and codeine and testosterone products that are Schedule III-V controlled substances, consistent with naturopathic medical practice in accordance with rules adopted by the Board of Naturopathy (Board) ;
hygiene and immunization;
non-drug contraceptive devices;
common diagnostic procedures; and
The Board is the disciplining authority for naturopaths, but the Secretary of Health maintains certain administrative functions, including setting licensing fees, issuing licenses, and hearing appeals of license denials.
Summary of Bill:
A naturopath may prescribe and administer any legend drug or Schedule III-V controlled substance as necessary in the practice of naturopathy. A naturopath may only administer legend drugs and controlled substances if he or she satisfies education and training requirements set by the Board. A naturopath who prescribes controlled substances must register with the Department of Health to access the prescription monitoring program. Additionally, the medicines a naturopath is authorized to administer are expanded to include nutrients, compounds, and natural substances consistent with naturopathic practice.
A naturopath may sign and attest to any certificate, card, form, or other required documentation that a physician may sign if it is within the naturopath’s scope of practice. This includes death certificates, guardianships, powers of attorney, disability determinations, and similar legal documents.
The minor office procedures a naturopath may perform are expanded to include:
common primary care services;
procedures incident to minor injuries (instead of abrasions);
any type of injection (instead of only intramuscular, intravenous, subcutaneous, and intradermal); and
topical applications of substances.
Physical modalities a naturopath is authorized to perform are expanded to include medical equipment and modalities that were used before or after July 22, 2011.
The authority to adopt rules regarding the injections a naturopath may perform is changed from the Secretary to the Board. The definition of “Secretary” is eliminated, although some responsibilities given to the Secretary are retained.
Naturopaths may also be known as naturopathic physicians.
Fiscal Note: Requested on February 6, 2019.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.