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11/09/2021

Michigan House Committee Unanimously Approves Pro-Chiropractic Legislation!

HBs 5295 and 5296 Would Allow Chiropractors and MDs/DOs to Form a Professional Corporation or Professional Limited Liability Company Together

To send an email to your state representative asking him or her to support HBs 5295 and 5296, click here.

On November 9, 2021, the Michigan Regulatory Reform Committee voted 15-0 to report House Bills 5295 and 5296, MAC-developed legislation that would allow chiropractors and MDs/DOs to form a professional corporation or professional limited liability company together, with a favorable recommendation. The bills now move to the full Michigan House of Representatives for consideration.

At the Regulatory Reform Committee’s previous meeting, MAC Chairman of the Board Dr. Eric DiMartino, Committee Chair state Representative Roger Hauck (R-Union Township), sponsor of HB 5295, and Minority Vice Chair state Representative Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores), sponsor of HB 5296, testified in support of the bills.

“This bipartisan, two-bill package corrects an outdated prohibition in Michigan’s Corporations Act that does not allow an MD or DO to partner with a DC,” Dr. DiMartino told the Committee. “This flies in the face of the direction of healthcare in the 21st Century, which is moving toward a more patient-centered model that is not only more convenient for the patient, but also leads to cost savings for the entire health care system.”

“Michigan’s current prohibition to an integrated partnership between chiropractic physicians and other physician types is a barrier to quality, effective healthcare,” Dr. DiMartino continued. This prohibition is outdated, is often counter to the best interest of the patient, and frequently adds costs to the healthcare system.”

Dr. DiMartino also noted that the bills are narrowly focused and would not create any sort of mandate, but rather would only allow “licensed physicians to create partnerships that merge their expertise and skills and allow them to provide quality, comprehensive care, improve patient outcomes, and save valuable resources.”

The full testimony of Dr. DiMartino, Chairman Hauck, and Minority Vice Chair Hertel can be seen here. Their testimony on House Bills 5295 and 5296 begin at approximately the 30-minute mark.

With the Regulatory Reform Committee considering House Bills 5295 and 5296, NOW is the time to email your state representative and ask him or her to support these common-sense, bipartisan bills.

The Current Situation

Under current Michigan law, medical and osteopathic physicians (MDs and DOs) are defined as a “learned profession,” and a corporation formed to provide the services of a learned profession must form as a professional corporation. Michigan law also states: “…each shareholder of the professional corporation must be licensed or legally authorized in this state to provide the same professional service.”

Because chiropractic physicians do not prescribe pharmaceuticals or perform surgery, they have been deemed as not providing the same services as an MD or DO. Therefore, under current law, a DC cannot legally form a practice as a shareholder with an MD or DO.

Rationale for Change

This prohibition is outdated, is often counter to the best interest of the patient, and frequently adds costs to the healthcare system. A practice that integrates the knowledge and skills of varying professionals can offer to patients both convenience and cost savings.

The conservative care first knowledge and skills that a DC brings to a medical practice can benefit patients in the following ways:

  • Conservative pain management without the use of pharmaceuticals, especially opioids. Opioid addiction continues to remain a major societal problem, as overdose deaths in Michigan increased more than 16 percent between 2019 and 2020, to an all-time high of approximately 2,770.
  • Receiving the appropriate care at the appropriate time with a minimum of barriers to that care. An integrated practice can provide a one-stop healthcare shop where patients don’t waste time and effort scheduling with and travelling to and from two (or more) different providers.
  • A comprehensive care team approach with a high degree of collaboration and communication between health care professionals, where physicians work together to provide care for the complex health issues facing many of today’s patients, can improve patient outcomes.

House Bills 5295 and 5296

This MAC-developed, bipartisan legislation is narrowly focused and will allow a DC, MD, and DO to form a professional corporation (PC) or professional limited liability company (PLLC) together. This change will be permissive, not a mandate. It will allow those licensed physicians to offer their patients a more complete set of knowledge and skills to improve the care the patients receive.

It is important to note that these bills do not change scope of practice laws (which are in Michigan’s Public Health Code, not the Professional Corporations Act). They simply allow those licensed physicians who wish to join together to offer their patients a more complete set of knowledge and skills to improve the care their patients receive.

CFCU - Thomas

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