Bill to Add “Diagnosis” to Georgia Scope Submitted
The Bill seeks to amend Code Section 43-9-1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to definitions relative to licensure and regulation of chiropractors, so as to revise the definition of the practice of chiropractic; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
SB 261 amends this section by adding the word “DIAGNOSIS” to read:
“‘Practice of chiropractic’ shall also include peer review which is defined as the procedure by which chiropractors licensed in this state evaluate the quality and efficiency of services ordered or performed by other chiropractors, including but not limited to practice analysis, diagnosis, audit, claims review, underwriting assistance, utilization review and compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.”
According to Georgia Chiropractic Association lobbyist Aubrey Villines the Bill will be voted on early next year.
Villines stated: “This bill is critical to clearly define that doctors of chiropractic may diagnose and be paid to diagnose conditions they are trained to treat and are within their scope of practice,”
The section related to peer review which the GCA is seeking to change is preceded by the DEFINITION of chiropractic in the State of Georgia which is as follows:
"Chiropractic" means the adjustment of the articulations of the human body, including ilium, sacrum, and coccyx, and the use of X-ray, provided that the X-ray shall not be used for therapeutical purposes. The term "chiropractic" shall also mean that separate and distinct branch of the healing arts whose science and art utilize the inherent recuperative powers of the body and the relationship between the musculoskeletal structures and functions of the body, particularly of the spinal column and the nervous system, in the restoration and maintenance of health. Chiropractic is a learned profession which teaches that the relationship between structure and function in the human body is a significant health factor and that such relationships between the spinal column and the nervous system are most significant, since the normal transmission and expression of nerve energy are essential to the restoration and maintenance of health. However, the term "chiropractic" shall not include the use of drugs or surgery. The adjustment referred to in this paragraph and subsection (b) of Code Section 43-9-16 may only be administered by a doctor of chiropractic authorized to do so by the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that the provisions of this Code section shall not prevent any other health care provider from administering techniques authorized within their scope of practice.
A plain reading of the statute makes it clear that chiropractic management of a patient is inextricably tied to vertebral subluxation.
It is unknown why the GCA wishes to insert the word “diagnosis” in the peer review section and not in the actual definition of chiropractic that precedes it.
According to the President of the Georgia Council on Chiropractic, Awais Butt DC:
“At this point, it should be understood that the GCC had no knowledge of this legislation until the bill was introduced to the senate, thus making it obvious that the parties involved in the fruition of this bill did not want the GCC’s opinion on it. Although I can already hear the people behind the bill sending out distracters and making it sound as if this is going to benefit us, the tactics that they have chosen seem to the contrary.”
This latest news comes on the heels of an effort to expand the scope of practice in Georgia. According to the “Georgia Chiropractors for Scope Expansion:
“It is our objective to work IN ACCORDANCE with the GCA to set up a committee under the GCA’s umbrella whose goal is to achieve scope expansion. Neither the FCPAA nor the GCSE is in competition with the GCA, and I strongly encourage you to continue supporting the GCA, as I will.”
Chiropractors opposed to expanding the scope of practice in Georgia are urged to support and contact the Georgia Council on Chiropractic.