Our Act is Now Law
After three years of consensus-building by MSIM and others in the community and in government, our legislation (The Patient’s Access to Integrative Health Care Act of 2020) passed both the Maryland House and Senate unanimously, was enacted by the governor, and is now law in Maryland!
In the past, investigations and charges have been brought against integrative practitioners in Maryland for non-standard Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment, use of devices such as ultraviolet blood irradiation, integrative therapies such as IV chelation, treating psychiatric conditions with nutritional approaches, use of hormonal therapies, and use of IV vitamin therapies. The law seeks to enhance a patient’s ability to receive integrative tests and treatments by providing a more secure environment for the practice of integrative medicine. Its passage reflects legislative recognition that such practice has important potential benefits for patients.
The Text of the Law
The exact language of the bill is as follows:
- Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, health occupations boards and disciplinary panels may not reprimand a licensee or certificate holder, place a licensee or certificate holder on probation, or suspend or revoke the license of a licensee or the certificate of a certificate holder solely on the basis of the licensee’s or certificate holder’s use of a diagnostic evaluation or treatment of a patient that is integrative, complementary, alternative, or nonconventional, including in the treatment of Lyme disease or tick-borne illnesses.
- This subsection may not be construed to release a licensee or certificate holder from the duty to exercise a professional standard of care when evaluating and treating a patient’s medical condition.
Legislation in Other States
Fourteen other states—including New York, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Alaska, North Carolina, and Washington State—have passed laws or implemented regulations supporting physicians’ use of integrative tests and treatments. As a result of MSIM’s efforts, Maryland is the fifteenth state to provide support for such practice.
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