Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently signed into law House Bill 5295 and House Bill 5296, which amended the Michigan Business Corporation Act (MBCA) and the Michigan Limited Liability Company Act (LLCA) as they relate to licensed chiropractors and entity formation and ownership. Effective March 15, 2022, one or more licensed chiropractors can now organize a professional corporation (PC) or a professional limited liability company (PLLC) with one or more individuals licensed to practice allopathic or osteopathic medicine or one or more physician assistants (as long as a licensed physician is also a shareholder or member).
In Michigan, the MBCA and the LLCA both allow entities to render one or more professional services in Michigan. Chiropractors’ services are one of many services that fall within the meaning of a “professional service” as that term relates to both PCs and PLLCs. Previously, the MBCA and the LLCA allowed chiropractors to form a PC or PLLC, but these acts both required that all of the entity’s shareholders, members and managers, as applicable, be licensed to provide the same professional service. Said another way, chiropractors could previously form PCs or PLLCs, but every owner had to be a licensed chiropractor. This rule applies to any professional in Michigan that renders a “professional service.” Before the recent amendments referenced above, there was one exception, which allowed individuals licensed as physician assistants to organize a PC or PLLC jointly with a licensed physician or podiatrist.
The law now allows one or more licensed chiropractors to organize a PC or a PLLC with one or more other individuals licensed in the practice of medicine, the practice of osteopathic medicine and surgery, or the practice of podiatric medicine and surgery. Physician assistants can also be part of the equation, but there is one additional caveat: physician assistants are still prohibited from organizing or being a shareholder or member of a PC or PLLC, respectively, without also having a licensed physician shareholder or member. This means that a chiropractor and physician assistant still cannot organize a PC or PLLC without a licensed physician involved in the ownership structure.
The following bullet points provide a summary regarding the amended law:
- Licensed chiropractors could not previously form PCs or PLLCs with non-chiropractor partners/co-owners.
- Licensed chiropractors can now jointly own and operate PCs or PLLCs with physician partners/co-owners.
- Licensed chiropractors are now able to organize a PC or PLLC with one or more licensed physician assistants (subject to the following bullet point).
- Physician assistants and chiropractors are still prohibited from forming a PC or PLLC unless a physician licensed to engage in the practice of medicine or osteopathic medicine is also a shareholder or member.
This is a permissive change (i.e., it creates no obligation on any of the above-referenced professionals). Rather, it is a new option that permits licensed physicians and chiropractors to partner in a way that allows them to jointly offer patients more services. The bills do not amend or modify the scope of practice for chiropractors licensed in Michigan.
Warner attorneys are here to help you navigate whatever changes come your way. For more information about House Bill 5295, House Bill 5296 or any other matter related to health law, please contact Jeffrey Segal or a member of Warner’s Health Law Practice Group.