Sunday, March 20, 2016

How Regulatory Changes Affect Naturopathic Practice

By Dr. Iva Lloyd, ND

In July of 2015 a number of regulatory changes were implemented for the naturopathic profession in Ontario. As a result, there are new policies and guidelines that naturopathic doctors and naturopathic clinics must follow. Here are some of the changes:

B12 Injections

Before these changes all naturopathic doctors in Ontario were able to prescribe B12 and were able to do B12 injections. Now, only those NDs that have successfully passed a pharmacy exam approved by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario are able to do B12 injections.

  • How this might affect you? At Naturopathic Foundations three naturopathic doctors currently are licensed to do B12 injections: Dr. Iva Lloyd, Dr. Kimberley Ramberan and Dr. Pearl Arjomand.  If any of the other NDs in our clinic determine that B12 is required you will need to have a short-visit with one of the ND licensed to do B12 prior to B12 being prescribed or injected.
  • You can always verify if your naturopathic doctor is licensed to prescribe or inject B12 by checking out the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO)'s website.

Selling and Dispensing Product

Naturopathic clinics are only allowed to dispense product that has been prescribed by a naturopathic doctor or when there is a written prescription from another medical health professional.

  • How this might affect you? At times individuals come into the clinic looking to pick up product that has not been prescribed by a naturopathic doctor. Naturopathic clinics are not able to sell or dispense product unless it has been prescribed.
  • When you come in the clinic to refill your prescription we ask that you bring in your written prescription or the empty bottle in order to avoid confusion. All refills need to be verified to ensure that they have been prescribed. 
  • At times patients often request products such as "probiotics" or "fish oil". It is important that we take the time to verify that you receive the correct product. We have over a dozen different probiotics and fish oils. There are also a number of products with similar names. Please bear with us as we take the time to verify that you receive the correct product.

Separate Invoicing for Each Patient

It is mandatory that all services and products for each patient be on a separate invoice.

  • How this might affect you? It is common for a patient to come in a pick up product for other family members while they are in the clinic. This is fine, but please be patient while we create a separate invoice for each patient. 

Phone Calls & Emails

There are new guidelines with respect to phone calls and emails. Naturopathic doctors are still permitted to take phone calls and to answer emails in order to clarify treatment plans or to answer questions about prescriptions or reactions. Yet, we are not allowed to diagnose new conditions or to add new prescriptions based on a phone call or email.
  • How this might affect you? It is our intention to provide you with the best in naturopathic care. We encourage you to continue to email us in order to clarify any treatment plan or to report on your progress. If you have a new symptom or complaint we may need to request that you come into the clinic for a visit.
  • If you have not been in the clinic or visited your naturopathic doctor in the last number of months, it is likely that you will need to make an appointment in order to discuss any changes to your treatment plan.
To learn more about how these changes may affect you, please talk to your naturopathic doctor or visit the College of Naturopaths of Ontario website.