TMA: Chiropractors’ Diagnoses, Procedures Under Trial

John Commins, August 24, 2010

The Texas Medical Association is hailing a state judge's announced intention to impose limits on chiropractors' rights to diagnose medical conditions.

Texas District Judge Stephen Yelenosky said last week in a letter to lawyers handing the case that he would invalidate the Texas State Board of Chiropractor Examiners rules that would have allowed chiropractors to diagnose all medical conditions.

Yelenosky had earlier ruled that a chiropractic license does not authorize chiropractors to perform manipulations under anesthesia and needle electromyography procedures. The judge upheld chiropractors' authority to diagnose conditions that do fall within their scope. A final ruling is expected in a couple of weeks.

The judge's letter follows a ruling in November in which he granted a TMA and Texas Medical Board request for a partial summary judgment against the chiropractic board and the Texas Chiropractic Association. He said then that the wording of state law is ambiguous, but that a review of the legislative debate over the issue "clearly reveals" that lawmakers "intended to prohibit the Board of Chiropractic from allowing any chiropractor to perform MUA."

TMA sued in 2006 to block the chiropractic board's rules because, the association said, the MUA and need EMG constitute the clinical and legal practice of medicine.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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