BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 1050
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   June 15, 2010

                                 Mary Hayashi, Chair
                     SB 1050 (Yee) - As Amended:  April 22, 2010

           SENATE VOTE  :   30-0
          SUBJECT  :   Osteopathic Medical Board of California: Naturopathic  
          Medicine Committee.

           SUMMARY  :   Revises the membership of the Osteopathic Medical  
          Board of California (OMBC) and the Naturopathic Medicine  
          Committee (Committee), and clarifies the duties and  
          responsibilities of the Committee.  Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Specifies that the Committee is solely responsible for  
            implementing the Naturopathic Medicine Act, and that the  
            Committee shall be responsible for reviewing the quality of  
            the practice of naturopathic medicine carried out by persons  
            licensed as naturopathic doctors.

          2)States that the Committee's highest priority in exercising its  
            licensing, regulatory, and disciplinary functions is  
            protection of the public.  Whenever the protection of the  
            public is inconsistent with other interests sought to be  
            promoted, the protection of the public shall be paramount.

          3)Removes the two naturopathic doctors from OMBC and adds them  
            to the Committee, adds two public members to OMBC, and reduces  
            Committee membership by one physician and surgeon and one  
            public member.   

          4)Deletes the requirement that the Committee get OMBC's approval  
            to appoint an executive officer, and permits the Committee to  
            employ other officers and employees as necessary to discharge  
            its duties. 

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Licenses and regulates osteopathic physicians and surgeons by  
            OMBC under the Osteopathic Act.  Provides that the 9-member  
            OMBC is composed of the following members appointed by the  


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             a)   Five osteopathic physicians and surgeons;

             b)   Two naturopathic doctors; and,

             c)   Two public members.

          2)Licenses and regulates naturopathic doctors by the Committee  
            within the OMBC under the Naturopathic Doctors Act.  Provides  
            that the nine-member Committee is composed of the following  
            members appointed by the Governor:

             a)   Three naturopathic doctors;

             b)   Three physicians and surgeons; and,

             c)   Three public members.

          3)Authorizes the Committee, with the approval of the OMBC, to  
            appoint an executive officer, and authorizes the OMBC to  
            employ other officers and employees as necessary to carry out  
            the duties of the Committee.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :    

           Purpose of this bill .  According to the author's office, "As  
          part of the July 2009 Budget package, ABX4 20 [(Strickland),  
          Chapter 18, Statutes of 2009 - 10 Fourth Extraordinary Session]  
          changed the structure and the composition of the OMBC by  
          combining it with the Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine (BNM).   
          For the first time in the board's 86-year history and in the  
          only state in the country, two non-physician providers would sit  
          in judgment of California's osteopathic physicians?.  ABX4 20  
          also created a Committee under the auspices of the OMBC.

          "The integration of the two professions on the same oversight  
          board confuses and misleads the public by implying that the  
          training, education and credentialing of naturopathic doctors is  
          equivalent to that of osteopathic physicians and surgeons.   
          Osteopathic physicians are engaged and qualified in the  
          unlimited practice of medicine, whereas naturopathic doctors are  
          unable to independently prescribe medication or perform surgery.  
           Patients may believe they're seeing a physician when in fact  


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          they're visiting a naturopathic practitioner, whose course of  
          treatment is much different and more limited.
          "[This bill] would fix the abovementioned concerns by simply  
          changing the two naturopathic doctor seats on the board to two  
          public member seats.

          "This bill also changes the distribution of the existing nine  
          seats on the Naturopathic Medicine Committee?. [and], consistent  
          with existing law, authorizes the Committee to appoint an  
          executive officer and other officers and employees?. This bill  
          would make the Committee responsible for reviewing the quality  
          of practice by licensed naturopathic doctors and solely  
          responsible for implementing the Naturopathic Doctors Act."

           Background  .  Doctors of osteopathy (DOs) are physicians and  
          surgeons who are fully trained and licensed to prescribe  
          medication and to perform surgery.  DOs are often equated with  
          doctors of medicine (MDs), but with a philosophical treatment  
          difference that assesses the overall health of their patients,  
          including home and work environments.  DOs must have a  
          bachelor's degree and complete four years of medical school.   

          OMBC was initially established as the Board of Osteopathic  
          Examiners by initiative statute in 1922.  That initiative  
          established regulation by an entity separate from the Medical  
          Board of California (MBC) because of a perception of  
          discrimination against DOs by the predecessor to the MBC.  

          Prior to 2002, OMBC was an independent, free-standing board.  In  
          2002, OMBC was brought within the Department of Consumer Affairs  
          (DCA) by SB 26 (Figueroa), Chapter 615, Statutes of 2002.

          Naturopathic medicine is a licensed health care profession based  
          on the belief that the human body has an innate healing ability.  
           Naturopathic doctors (NDs) teach their patients to use diet,  
          exercise, lifestyle changes and natural therapies to enhance  
          their bodies' ability to ward off and combat disease.  NDs must  
          graduate from a school accredited by the Council of Naturopathic  
          Medical Education and complete at least 4,100 hours of training,  
          of which not less than 2,500 hours are academic training and not  
          less than 1,200 hours are supervised clinical training.  ND  
          license candidates must also pass a licensing exam that is  
          administered by the North American Board of Naturopathic  


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          The Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine (Bureau) and the  
          Naturopathic Doctors Act became operative on July 1, 2004 (SB  
          907 [Burton], Chapter 485, Statutes of 2003).  As originally  
          established the Bureau was placed under the authority of the  
          Director of the DCA, who appointed the Bureau chief.  The  
          Director was also responsible for establishing an advisory  
          council to the Bureau consisting of three California licensed  
          NDs, three California licensed physicians and surgeons, and  
          three public members.

          As part of the July 2009 Budget package, ABX4 20 [(Strickland),  
          Chapter 18, Statutes of 2009 - 10 Fourth Extraordinary Session]  
          changed the structure and the composition of the OMBC by  
          combining it with the Bureau.  OMBC is composed of nine members:  
          five DOs, two public members, and two naturopathic doctors.    
          The bill also created the Committee under the auspices of OMBC.


          Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California (sponsor)
          CalDerm, California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic  
          California Academy of Family Physicians
          California Medical Association
          California Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
          The American Osteopathic Association
          The California Naturopathic Doctors Association
          Western Occupational & Environmental Medical Association
          Numerous individuals
          None on file.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Sarah Weaver / B.,P. & C.P. / (916)