DOH opens Public Comment Period for Sunrise Review on SB 5411 expanding scope of practice for naturopathic physicians

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

By request of Senator Annette Cleveland (D-49), Chair of the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee, the Washington Department of Health (DOH) Office of Health Professions and Health Systems Quality Assurance is conducting a Sunrise Review on Senate Bill 5411.

SB 5411 is the Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians' (WANP) ongoing effort to expand naturopathic scope of practice to better align with that of other statute-recognized primary care providers in Washington.

In summary, this bill would:
  • expand naturopathic prescriptive authority to include controlled substances in Schedules II through V of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act as necessary in the practice of naturopathy; 
  • enable naturopathic physicians to sign and attest to any documents or certificates that any primary care provider is routinely expected to sign; 
  • update defining language under "minor office procedures" and "physical modalities"; and 
  • update the RCW to reflect that our profession is now regulated by an established board rather than by the Office of the Secretary of Health (effective 2011).

In order to pursue the current Sunrise Review, the WANP prepared a substantial applicant report addressing key questions relevant to this legislative request. 

In the report, we provided information about why a change in regulation is necessary; how SB 5411 would benefit the public; the minimum level of training and education necessary and the current level of training required for our profession; and the safeguards in place to ensure public safety.

As of today, the Department has officially opened the public comment period for this review and will accept written comment from *any interested parties* until 5pm on Monday, November 20, 2023.

The Department is particularly interested in hearing how this legislation would impact patients, doctors, and the delivery of care; as well as in receiving comment from patients, physicians, and regulatory boards where this scope already exists. 

The Department uses the Sunrise Review process to ensure that the public would not be harmed by the requested advancement of scope. The Legislature then uses the recommendations of the Department through the Sunrise Review to inform its decisions on the legislation it considers. 

In addition to public safety, there is currently a legislative focus on increasing access to care and reducing costs. We are confident our current proposal meets all of these needs.

*Any interested parties* includes patients, allied care professionals, clinic administrators, academics, researchers, other state/national/specialty organizations

The Department is interested in a broad array of feedback and perspectives to help them make an informed recommendation to the state legislature.

Send your supportive comments to to help advance this longstanding legislative effort.


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