TESTIMONY OF THE MAINE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
IN OPPOSITION TO LD 551,
AN ACT TO EXPAND THE AUTHORITY OF NATUROPATHIC DOCTORS
TO PRESCRIBE CERTAIN MEDICATIONS
Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services
Room 209, Cross State Office Building
Friday, March 31, 2017, 9:30 a.m.
Good morning Senator Brakey, Representative Hymanson, and Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services. I am Peter Michaud of Readfield, Associate General Counsel of the Maine Medical Association and a registered nurse licensed in Maine. I am speaking in opposition to LD 551, An Act to Expand the Authority of Naturopathic Doctors to Prescribe Certain Medications.
The Maine Medical Association is a professional organization representing more than 4000 physicians, residents, and medical students in Maine whose mission is to support Maine physicians, advance the quality of medicine in Maine and promote the health of all Maine citizens.
This bill is in “concept draft” form. As such, it does not give us notice of what it intends to do, other than to say it will “expand the authority of naturopathic doctors to prescribe certain naturally occurring medications.”
It is puzzling to us why this bill is here in the Committee on Health and Human Services rather than in the Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development, where these scope of practice issues are frequently debated. The statute governing naturopathic practice, which I have attached for your reference, states that they have “a limited scope of prescriptive authority.” The regulation governing the prescriptive authority of naturopathic practitioners is very detailed in listing which substances they may and may not prescribe. If the bill simply seeks to expand the listed items in the rule without running afoul of the scope of prescriptive practice set forth in the statute, there is no need for a statutory change. If an expanded scope of practice is to be considered, beyond the authority presently set forth in statute, that consideration should go through the “Sunrise” review process by which any such scope expansions are determined to be justified, or not.
On behalf of the Maine Medical Association, I ask that you vote “Ought Not to Pass” on LD 551. I would be pleased to address any questions you may have.