On April 1, 2015, the House Professional Licensure Committee unanimously passed HB 516. The bill now moves to the Appropriations Committee. After this, the next step would be a vote on the House Floor.
The PANP is working toward regulation of the naturopathic profession to protect Pennsylvania consumers. Licensing provides a clear and unequivocal means for the public to identify and rely on graduate level trained Naturopathic Doctors.
Licensing NDs would provide:
Quality Assurance ~ Licensing would ensure that NDs adhere to the same benchmarks of professional accountability as do other licensed health professionals.
Health Freedom ~ Licensure is necessary in order to provide the public with availability and accessibility to choices in health care.
Treatment Integration ~ With licensure, naturopathic doctors would be expected to operate according to set standards and competency requirements. Professionals would be free to communicate with, refer patients to, and integrate techniques with standard natural treatments.
Fraud Protection ~ Protection for the public is an essential concern of the PANP. Currently, the public is not able to easily identify physician-level trained naturopathic doctors. Anyone regardless of training can claim to be a 'Naturopath,' yet consumers deserve and expect regulation of health care professionals, including NDs. Licensure would insure the reliability of the practitioners and their education.
Cost Effectiveness ~ Naturopathic doctors focus on the health education and prevention of disease. Dietary management along with natural medicines are proven to improve many of today’s most expensive health conditions. This approach results in fewer number of doctor visits, less use of prescription medications and less expensive surgeries.