Alaska association of naturopathic physicians

We are currently pursuing legislation to increase our scope of practice in Alaska! Senate Bill 120 would restore our ability to provide IV and IM nutrients, and bring our scope up to the level of our training, matching other states where naturopathic doctors are licensed. Please email or call you legislators to inform them of your support!

Senate Bill 120: Alaska Naturopathic health care Reform

Problem

  • The scope of practice for licensed Naturopathic doctors in Alaska does not reflect their education and training
  • Alaskans suffer from 1) some of the highest health care costs in the nation, 2) increasing prevalence of chronic and preventable disease, and 3) inadequate access to health care - particularly in rural areas
  • health care costs are a key driver increasing Alaska’s budget

Solution

SB120 redefines the scope of practice for naturopathic doctors in Alaska to reflect their education and training. Among other things, the bill allow licensed practitioners to perform minor office procedures (surgeries) and issue vitamins, minerals and non-controlled substance prescription medications.

Rationale

  • Allowing naturopathic doctors to practice within the full scope of their training will  immediately increase the number of primary care providers in Alaska. This will improve health care access, increase competition in the market and help drive down costs.
  • Naturopathic doctors’ primary focus is on disease prevention, rather than symptom and medication management. In the long-run, this type of care saves money for consumers, insurers and the state. It also decreases the utilization of health care (unnecessary ER visits, frequent med checks and follow up visits)
  • In Alaska, naturopathic doctors have a more limited scope of practice than other health care providers in Alaska with equal or lesser training.
  • Naturopathic doctors practice safely under this same scope in many other states.

Regulating naturopathic doctors appropriately will encourage more young practitioners to move to Alaska and serve Alaskans. Naturopathic doctors qualify for Indian Health Service’s national loan repayment program aimed to increase access to remote Alaska but are unable to make use of this program due to the limited scope of practice. 


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