Alaska association of naturopathic physicians

We need your help. 

The Alaska Association of Naturopathic Physicians is pursuing legislation this year, which will help naturopaths in Alaska provide more comprehensive care to our patients. 

In order to be successful, however, we need a strong showing of support. The most valuable thing you can you do to help is to write a letter of support for Senate Bill 120 (SB 120). 

SB 120 updates the scope of practice for naturopaths, to reflect their education and training. Most significantly, the bill would allow naturopaths to prescribe non-controlled substance medications, and perform minor office procedures (i.e. surgeries). Here is a link to the bill

Option 1: Write a personalized email. Your own words will be the most compelling to lawmakers, even if your letter is short. The information below should help you hit the main points.  

Option 2: Sign & send the template email below. If you don't have time to compose something yourself, you can simply sign and send in the template email found below.

The bill is being sponsored by Senator Giessel, and has been referred to the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee, as well as Senate Finance. We only have one session to get this bill through, so time is of the essence! 


Email To: 
Senator.Mia.Costello@akleg.gov
Senator.Shelley.Hughes@akleg.gov
Senator.Kevin.Meyer@akleg.gov
Senator.Gary.Stevens@akleg.gov
Senator.Berta.Gardner@akleg.gov
Senator.Cathy.Giessel@akleg.gov
Jane.Conway@akleg.gov
aknaturopaths@gmail.com



Template Letter of Support:

SB120 Letter of Support Template (1).docx





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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