Is the WCA Trying to Create a New Profession?
The Wisconsin Chiropractic Association (WCA) is the driving force behind the introduction of a bill to create a new health care profession to be known as “primary spinal care practitioners.”  This is the apparent culmination of significant effort that began when “the WCA Board of Directors – at a special meeting on August 7, 2014 – voted unanimously to release a white paper outlining the Primary Spine Care Physician (PSCP) initiative to WCA members and the public.”  According to the bill’s authors, Wisconsin Senator Frank Lasee and Representative Joe Sanfelippo, “[T]his bill creates a new type of health care provider in Wisconsin called the Primary Spine Care Practitioner (PSCP) designed to address the growing burden of spine related disorders and the overuse of prescription drugs in Wisconsin. The Primary Spine Care Practitioner would be a new practice act governed by the Medical Examining Board available to licensed chiropractors who meet the educational and clinical training requirements.”  The bill includes rights and privileges for primary spinal care practitioners not currently enjoyed by doctors of chiropractic. In addition, the bill:
- “[E]stablishes a licensure program for primary spinal care practitioners to be administered by the Spinal Medicine Affiliated Credentialing Board, which is created in the bill and attached to the Medical Examining Board.
- “[D]efines ‘spinal medicine’ in relevant part as the integration and application of the practice of chiropractic and the practice of medicine and surgery, both as defined under current law, that is limited to conditions of the spine and the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and nervous systems.
- Provides that “a licensed primary spinal care practitioner has authority to prescribe and administer prescription drugs.”