MADISON – The Wisconsin State Assembly approved Assembly Bill 529 (AB 529), legislation authored by Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek) and Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls), with unanimous support on Thursday. The legislation creates a Naturopathic Medicine Examining Board and provides for regulation and licensing of the practice of naturopathic medicine.
AB 529 will provide for patient safety by establishing a Naturopathic Medicine Examining Board, which will determine and uphold the ethical standards of the practice of naturopathic medicine. This will promote public safety by establishing educational requirements, examinations, and annual continuing education requirements. Establishing the board will also create a method for patients to make complaints against any bad actors in the profession.
“Current law does not provide an avenue for naturopathic doctors to register or apply for a license with the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). In the absence of one of these processes, naturopathic doctors are precluded from diagnosing and treating conditions, conducting physical exams, and ordering labs or imaging,” said Rep. Rodriguez. “Yet, all of these practices are within the scope of the education and training received under accredited programs. Giving naturopathic doctors the ability to practice to the full extent of their training will benefit patients in our state.”
“For me, this bill has always been about giving Wisconsinites more options when it comes to choosing their health providers. Patients choose naturopathic doctors because they understand the length and scope of their training, accreditation, competency, and commitment to public safety,” commented Rodriguez. “I applaud my Assembly colleagues for seeing the value in and ultimately supporting this legislation.”
The Senate companion, Senate Bill 532 (SB 532), passed the Senate Committee on Insurance, Licensing and Forestry with a bipartisan vote of 4-1. The legislation is expected to be considered by the full Senate later this Session.