1999 Montana Legislature

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     NEW SECTION.  Section 1.  Short title. [Sections 1 through 6] may be cited as the "Natural Health Consultant and Natural Health Practitioner Act".

     NEW SECTION.  Section 2.  Purpose. The purpose of [sections 1 through 6] is:

     (1) to provide standards for the registration of natural health consultants and natural health practitioners and to make natural health choices available to the citizens of Montana;

     (2) to provide for the practice of registered natural health consultants and natural health practitioners within the state of Montana as an option to all citizens, regardless of economic status or the availability of insurance;

     (3) to require disclosure to the citizens of Montana of the limitations of registered natural health consultants and registered natural health practitioners whose training includes a diversity of theory and practice but is not the practice of medicine.

     NEW SECTION.  Section 3.  Definitions. For the purposes of [sections 1 through 6], the following definitions apply:

     (1) "Department" means the department of commerce provided for in 2-15-1801.

     (2) "Natural health care" means a distinct system of noninvasive health practice in which neither surgery nor drugs are used and that consists of assessment, education, counseling, and natural health modalities, including but not limited to the use of foods, food extracts, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, digestive aids, botanical substances, homeopathic preparations, air, water, health, cold, sound, light, bioenergetic methods, and exercise to help stimulate and maintain the body's intrinsic self-healing process.

     (3) "Natural health consultant" or "natural health practitioner" means an individual who is registered to practice natural health care.

     (4) "Unprofessional conduct" means the failure on the part of a person registered under [sections 1 through 6] to exercise the degree of care, diligence, and skill ordinarily exercised by a registered natural health consultant and natural health practitioner.

     NEW SECTION.  Section 4.  Requirements for registration -- prohibited acts -- titles -- notice to clientele. (1) The department shall issue a certificate of registration to a person who is of good moral character, is 18 years of age or older, and has paid an annual fee established by the department that authorizes the person to practice natural health care.

     (2) A person registered as a natural health consultant or natural health practitioner may not:

     (a) prescribe, dispense, administer, or make a recommendation pertaining to a legend or controlled substance as defined in the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 801 through 971;

     (b) perform surgical procedures;

     (c) practice emergency medicine, except as a good Samaritan rendering gratuitous services in the case of emergency and except for the care of minor injuries;

     (d) practice or claim to practice medicine, surgery, osteopathy, dentistry, podiatry, optometry, chiropractic, physical therapy, naturopathy, or obstetrics; or

     (e) file birth or death certificates.

     (3) An individual may not represent to the public that the individual is registered to practice natural health care in this state unless registered under [sections 1 through 6]. Individuals registered under [sections 1 through 6] have the exclusive right to use the titles "registered natural health consultant" and "registered natural health practitioner".

     (4) An individual registered under [sections 1 through 6] shall post a notice in a prominent place in each office or location of business and provide to all clients a written notice that must read as follows:

     "This notice is provided to you pursuant to [section 4], MCA. I am a Registered Natural Health Consultant or a Registered Natural Health Practitioner, but I am not a licensed physician and therefore do not practice the application of allopathic or naturopathic medical principles to prevent, diagnose, or treat physical and mental diseases, disorders, and conditions or to safeguard the life and health of a woman and infant throughout a pregnancy or parturition."

     NEW SECTION.  Section 5.  Department responsibilities -- rulemaking -- fees. (1) The department may adopt administrative rules necessary to carry out the purposes of [sections 1 through 6] and may investigate any complaints of unprofessional conduct as provided in Title 37, chapter 1, part 4.

     (2) The department may assess a fee of $100 on each individual applying for registration as a natural health consultant or a natural health practitioner.

     NEW SECTION.  Section 6.  Exemptions. (1) [Sections 1 through 6] may not be construed to prohibit or restrict:

     (a) the practice of a profession by individuals who are licensed, certified, or registered under other laws of this state and who are performing services within their scope of practice;

     (b) an individual from administering a domestic or family remedy;

     (c) persons from furnishing general nutritional information or engaging in an explanation to customers about foods, food materials, vitamins, herbs, or other dietary supplements in connection with the marketing, sale, or distribution of those products;

     (d) any person registered under [sections 1 through 6] from engaging in the marketing or distribution of food, food materials, vitamins, herbs, or other dietary supplements;

     (e) a person or group from disseminating information or literature relating to the benefits or preparation of food, food materials, or dietary or food supplements;

     (f) a person or group from giving speeches, conducting seminars, or teaching classes in natural health;

     (g) a person or group from conducting exercise, fitness, or weight control programs;

     (h) a person or group that is traditionally recognized in the community as a provider of health care from giving advice, including but not limited to a curandero or a person who practices traditional spiritual healing and who advises people according to or based on traditional practices; and

     (i) a person from practicing animal nutrition.

     (2) [Sections 1 through 6] recognize that many of the modalities used in natural health care, such as the use of nutritional supplements, herbs, foods, homeopathic preparations, and physical forces such as heat, cold, water, touch, and light, are not the exclusive privilege of a registered natural health consultant or natural health practitioner, and their use by persons not registered under [sections 1 through 6] is not prohibited by [sections 1 through 6].

     (3) [Sections 1 through 6] may not be construed to interfere with the religious practices or observances of a religion or a religious organization or to prevent a person from caring for the sick in accordance with tenets and practices of any church or religious denomination that teaches reliance upon spiritual means through prayer and healing.

     NEW SECTION.  Section 7.  Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through 6] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 37, and the provisions of Title 37 apply to [sections 1 through 6].

     NEW SECTION.  Section 8.  Severability. If a part of [this act] is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of [this act] is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications.

     NEW SECTION.  Section 9.  Contingent effective date. (1) If Constitutional Initiative No. 75, enacting Article VIII, section 17, of the Montana constitution, is declared invalid, [this act] is effective July 1, 1999, or upon the date of invalidity, whichever is later.

     (2) If [LC 1754] is submitted to and approved by the electorate at the next tax election, [this act] is effective January 1, 2000.

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