Bill Would Allow Chiropractors to Perform Physicals on Student Athletes

June 13, 2017

Figure with back pain

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow chiropractors to perform physical exams on student athletes.

The Assembly Health Committee was scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to recommend passage of the measure, Assembly Bill 260, to the full legislature.

The bill would allow chiropractors who receive additional medical training to perform physical examinations on public and private school pupils for athletic or extra-curricular events and for students who attend technical colleges and two-year University of Wisconsin campuses. The measure would also allow chiropractors to perform acupuncture with additional training, and allow certified chiropractors to perform medical examinations for truckers.

The Wisconsin Chiropractic Association supports the measure. Chiropractors have contributed more than $1.1 million to all legislative and statewide candidates, including about $599,300 to current legislators, between January 2010 and December 2016. One of the bill’s authors, GOP Sen. Frank Lasee, of De Pere, received about $6,200 from chiropractors during the same period. The bill’s Assembly author, Republican Rep. Chuck Wichgers, of Muskego, who was first elected last year, did not receive any contributions from chiropractors.

About 20 organizations representing hospitals, medical clinics, health professionals, and insurers are opposed to the bill. Some of the organizations said in a statement that they oppose the proposal because chiropractors do not receive enough comprehensive medical training to perform physical examinations for student athletes.

Insurers, medical institutions, and health professionals have contributed nearly $18.6 million to all legislative and statewide candidates, including more than $6.2 million to current legislators, between January 2010 and December 2016. Lasee received about $93,200 and Wichgers received $1,950 from these special interests.