The American Medical Association (AMA) published an article on licensing of complementary and alternative medicine practitioners in Virtual Mentor.
Michael H. Cohen co-authored an article on licensing of CAM practitioners in the AMA’s Virtual Mentor.
The article begins by informing readers how and why states control health care licensure. Essentially, licensing health care providers comes out of the 10th Amendment, which delegates regulation of health to the states and not the federal government, A key U.S. Supreme Court case, early on (Dent v. West Virginia) enshrined this principle in Constitutional law:
Licensing of allied health providers, such as dentists, psychologists, and nurses, followed:
The article discusses different types of licensure, from mandatory licensure to title licensure and registration:
States also use exemptions to licensure as a mechanism to authorize health care practices. For example, in response to the proliferation of interstate electronic communications among clinicians, some states have elected (in lieu of explicit telemedicine statutes) to carve out exemptions from state licensing laws to provide that out-of-state physicians who periodically consult with in-state physicians about in-state patients are not considered to be practicing “medicine” within the state . Similarly, some states exempt practices such as reflexology from medical and massage therapy licensing laws .
One interesting variation is a California statute authorizing health care practices by nonlicensed health care professionals, so long as they do not practice “medicine,” make appropriate disclosures to consumers, provide appropriate informed consent, and meet other specified requirements .
Licensure as Opposed to Certification, Accreditation, and Credentialing
The article goes on to distinguish licensure from related concepts such as certification, accreditation, and credentialing….
Another key concept is the debate as to whether licensure is a net good or detriment to CAM practice.
The article continues with thoughts about how health care reform is changing the landscape of CAM:
For the full reference, see Virtual Mentor, and also see Michael H. Cohen, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998) on which much of the article was based.
Michael H. Cohen is a thought leader in health care law, pioneering legal strategies and solutions for business law clients in traditional and emerging healthcare. wellness, and lifestyle markets. As a corporate and regulatory attorney who has also handled litigation matters, Mr. Cohen represents conscious business leaders in a transformational era.
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