South Dakota House Bill 1171, dubbed “The Emerging Complementary Health Professional Licensing Board” bill, would allow for the creation of a new state board to regulate complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners not already licensed by the state.

Massage therapists are already licensed in the state. The bill stipulates that a CAM profession will be regulated if the board determines:

• The unregulated practice of the profession creates a direct, immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare;

• The scope of practice is readily identified and easily distinguished from the scope of practice of other professions;

• The professional group has a national certification program or some other means to ensure a minimum quality of service; and

• The practice of the profession requires some specialized skill or training, and nationally recognized standards of education and training exist.

Members of any CAM profession deemed in need of regulation will be required to pay a $100 licensing fee, in addition to renewal fees.

The bill has passed through the House and is currently before the Senate.