Bill to Create Naturopath Database in Colorado Set for Hearing in Legislature
Colorado legislators will hear testimony Tuesday about a bill that would regulate who can call themselves naturopathic doctors. It’s the twelfth time this bill has been proposed, and its supporters are hoping this will be the last.
The bill would give patients in Colorado a clear way to distinguish true naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) who have four to eight years of training in an accredited program, from those who have less rigorous credentials, by setting up a registration database.
“Right now the state of Colorado has no idea who’s out there doing what,” says Democratic Representative Jim Riesberg, the bill’s sponsor. “No one has to register; they don’t know who’s out there. If someone called to complain about somebody, they wouldn’t even know they were around.”
Riesberg says the bill would affect several hundred people in Colorado who have eight years of study, and who choose to register as naturopathic doctors. Opposition comes largely from others in the natural healing arts who worry the requirements would push them out of practice in the state. But the bill has been rewritten so that it no longer involves licensing, only registration; and Riesberg says the Colorado Medical Society is on board with the new version. He expects the revision to sidestep a lot of the controversy that has derailed 11 previous versions of the bill.