Naturopathic Legislative Update January 2007
Help Support Regulation of Naturopathic Medicine in Colorado!
What is the Current State of Naturopathic Medicine in Colorado?
As you probably know, naturopathic medicine is currently unregulated in the state of Colorado. Due to this lack of regulation, a person may advertise themselves as a naturopathic doctor or ND regardless of the training they have received. While we trust that each person providing health care services is doing his or her best to provide quality care, this wide variability in training qualifies each person to administer a different type of service. Because of this, it becomes the responsibility of each patient of a naturopathic provider to research the type and quality of training their ND has received. This unfortunately puts the public at risk because they may not be getting the type of health care they think they are receiving.
What is Being Done to Change This?
This year, the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Physicians (COANP) is presenting a bill to the state legislature to bring regulation of naturopathic medicine via licensure to the state of Colorado. Membership in the COANP is only extended to those who meet the following requirements:
• He or she has graduated from a four-year, postgraduate, accredited medical school. In North America, these schools consist of Bastyr University, The National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Bridgeport University, The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, and the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.
• He or she has passed the required national board exams for naturopathic doctors.
• He or she holds a medical license in a jurisdiction that regulated naturopathic medicine.
How Does this Affect the Public?
The passage of a bill to license naturopathic doctors in Colorado benefits the public in two ways:
• It allows consumers to feel confident that they know the training and qualifications of the person from whom they are receiving care, and increases their safety.
• It allows licensable naturopathic doctors to legally practice as they are trained. This gives their patients greater access to care, insurance reimbursement for their services, and lower overall cost because they are able to more fully meet their patients’ medical needs.
Will This Restrict my Ability to Purchase Herbs and Supplements?
Absolutely not. The COANP does not want to interfere with or impede anybody’s right to choose any type of health care service or product. The intention of this bill is solely to provide the public with an increased ability to powerfully choose their health care with a clear understanding of what they are receiving.
How Can I Help?
The passage of a bill to regulate naturopathic medicine is absolutely dependent upon the support of the public! The best first step is to sign up on the legislative support page at www.coanp.org This will give you access to legislative updates and will give you the ability to participate on behalf of the organization during the legislative session.