Earlier today, the Michigan House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Bills 5295 and 5296 – MAC-developed legislation that would allow chiropractors and MDs/DOs to form a professional corporation or professional limited liability company together – by a bipartisan 99-4 vote. The bill now moves to the Michigan Senate for consideration.
Under current Michigan law, medical and osteopathic physicians (MDs and DOs) are defined as a “learned profession,” and a corporation formed to provide the services of a learned profession must form as a professional corporation. Michigan law also states: “…each shareholder of the professional corporation must be licensed or legally authorized in this state to provide the same professional service.”
Because chiropractic physicians do not prescribe pharmaceuticals or perform surgery, they have been deemed as not providing the same services as an MD or DO. Therefore, under current law, a DC cannot legally form a practice as a shareholder with an MD or DO.
This prohibition is outdated, is often counter to the best interest of the patient, and frequently adds costs to the healthcare system. A practice that integrates the knowledge and skills of varying professionals can offer to patients both convenience and cost savings.
The conservative care first knowledge and skills that a DC brings to a medical practice can benefit patients in many ways, including:
Conservative pain management without the use of pharmaceuticals, especially opioids. Opioid addiction continues to remain a major societal problem, as overdose deaths in Michigan increased more than 16 percent between 2019 and 2020, to an all-time high of approximately 2,770.
A comprehensive care team approach with a high degree of collaboration and communication between health care professionals, where physicians work together to provide care for the complex health issues facing many of today’s patients, can improve patient outcomes.
This MAC-developed, bipartisan legislation is narrowly focused and will allow a DC, MD, and DO to form a professional corporation (PC) or professional limited liability company (PLLC) together. This change will be permissive, not a mandate. It will allow those licensed physicians to offer their patients a more complete set of knowledge and skills to improve the care the patients receive.
It is important to note that these bills do not change scope of practice laws (which are in Michigan’s Public Health Code, not the Professional Corporations Act). They simply allow those licensed physicians who wish to join together to offer their patients a more complete set of knowledge and skills to improve the care their patients receive.