2015 Summary

The 2015 Oregon Legislative session ended mid-July. Time for a summary of the results on bills that were considered by the legislature last year related to science-based medicine.

ACUPUNCTURE

House Bill 2966: Directs Oregon Medical Board to study regulation of and reimbursement for acupuncture services. In committee upon adjournment of the 2015 session.

Senate Bill 631 Provides comprehensive health care coverage to all individuals residing or working in Oregon, includes acupuncturists as providers.

In committee upon adjournment of the 2015 session.

CHIROPRACTIC

House Bill 2523: Requires managed care organization to allow chiropractic and naturopathic physicians to serve as attending physician.

In committee upon adjournment of the 2015 session.

Senate Bill 631 Provides comprehensive health care coverage to all individuals residing or working in Oregon, includes chiropractors as providers.

In committee upon adjournment of the 2015 session.

Senate Bill 280: Adds a chiropractor to Board of Medical Imaging. Signed in to law. Perhaps we will have a practitioner on the Board who can find non-existent subluxations on x-rays.

NATUROPATHY

House Bill 3301: “Naturopathic medicine” means the discipline that includes physiotherapy, natural healing processes, [and] minor surgery and primary care and has as its objective the maintaining of the body in, or of restoring it to, a state of normal health.

Signed into law, effective January 1 2016.

Naturopaths are now designated as primary care providers. For some consequences of this law, see The Consequences of Naturopaths Receiving PCP Designation.

Senate Bill 631 Provides comprehensive health care coverage to all individuals residing or working in Oregon, includes naturopaths as providers.

In committee upon adjournment of the 2015 session.

House Bill 2523: Requires managed care organization to allow chiropractic and naturopathic physicians to serve as attending physician.

In committee upon adjournment of the 2015 session.

VACCINATION

Senate Bill 442: Limits vaccine exemptions.

3/11 Amendment allowed to die; other amendments pending. In committee upon adjournment of the 2015 session.

Unfortunately the legislature did not have either the will or the courage of the California legislature, which passed strict limitations for vaccine refusal. There was a measles death this year in an adult with a compromised immune system in Washington. I hope we do not see a similar result in the coming months.

Senate Bill 520. Permits pharmacists to administer vaccines to individuals at least seven years of age.

Signed in to law.

LYME

Senate Bill 916:

As of the end of April, “a) Permits health care workers to diagnose and treat Lyme by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society guidelines and protect those who do from disciplinary actions.”

has been amended to read

“Delete lines 4 through 19 of the printed bill and insert: “SECTION 1. The Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Medical Board and the Oregon State Board of Nursing shall study clinical guidance regarding Lyme disease and the health outcomes related to the clinical guidance and shall report findings to the appropriate committees of the Legislative Assembly no later than March 1, 2016”

In committee upon adjournment of the 2015 session.

This will likely return in the future.

OTHER

Senate Bill 298: Includes the fiction “Using touch to affect the energy systems or channels of energy of the body;” which do not exist.

The above language removed and they added “(b) “Massage,” “massage therapy” and “bodywork” do not include the use of high velocity, short-amplitude manipulative thrusting procedures to the articulations of the spine or extremities.” was added. Chiropractors protecting their turf.

Signed into law.

As an aside, Oregonians for Science-Based Medicine started late in the 2015 legislative session and was associated with a steep learning curve. We hope to have increased activity in the 2016 legislative year and beyond.