Vol 1 No. 1 | January 31, 2018
Monthly Review: January '18
A Note from ASA Chairman
Dr. David Miller, MD, L.Ac.
Dear Colleagues, Supporters, and Friends,

The work of supporting a profession and advocating for high quality acupuncture is ongoing and ever-dynamic. In this newsletter, we highlight for you some of the legislation that is active around the country and affecting the practice of acupuncture and its receipt by the public. Bills are continuously introduced that involve scope of practice, reimbursement, the regulation of medicine, insurance law, and more, and all of these must be tracked and followed. Most importantly, many of these bills call for action.  The "boots on the ground" for the acupuncture profession are the state associations. These organizations will need to continually be addressing legislation that may be helpful or harmful to the public and to practice. The ASA aims to support states in their work, and, in turn, both the states and the ASA need your support. Please take time to peruse the key issues under watch at present. Let us know if you know of any other actions that may affect either the practice of acupuncture or your ability to receive it. We would also value your feedback on legislation occurring in your area, as your voices help us direct our activity and resources. Medicine and medical practice are always in flux, and without vigilance, bad laws can sneak through, and good laws can be defeated. Together we can help sculpt the landscape of acupuncture in the United States, making sure that practice by Licensed Acupuncturists thrives.


David W. Miller, MD, LAc
Chair, American Society of Acupuncturists
State Associations Spotlight
Washington East Asian Medicine Association (WEAMA)
WEAMA Legislative Priorities

Support Acupuncture as an Alternative to Opioids:

On January 15, WEAMA was invited to present to the Senate Health Care Committee as part of a panel on Alternatives to Opioids. Jason Taylor, WEAMA Board member presented to the committee and sharing the “Acupunctures Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic” that was presented to Congress last fall.

WEAMA Supports Governor Inslee’s Opioid bills, HB 2489 / SB 6150 Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related services.

Curt Eschels, WEAMA Legislative Chair, testified on SB 6150.

Support SB 6157 Prior Authorization (Companion Bill WA HB 2837 )

WEAMA has been working with the chiropractors and PTs on a prior authorization bill for about 3 years now. The bill states “A health carrier may not require prior authorization for an initial evaluation and management visit or an initial, and up to 12 consecutive treatment visits with a contracting provider in a new episode of care of chiropractic, physical therapy, occupational therapy, East Asian medicine, massage therapy, or speech and hearing therapies within the benefit limits of the health plan.” The bill had a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care at 10am on 1/30/2018. It's Companion Bill had its first reading on 1/17/2018 and was referred to the House Committee on Health Care and Wellness.

Establishing the Healthy Washington program to provide comprehensive Universal Single-Payer Health Care Coverage for All Residents of the State

Last Action:
Public hearing held in the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care at 10:00 AM. on 1/18/2018
Acupuncture Society of Virginia
Something that just happened in VA: 

Great news! An amendment to the Virginia state budget to establish a pilot program similar to Vermont’s acupuncture pilot program has officially been established. Delegate Chris Peace from Hanover County has submitted it. It is now published online and will be under review by the Health and Human Resources Subcomittee.

While there are at least 100 other budget amendments that will be given consideration as well, this is a great step forward at the very least and we are encouraging all of our members living in the eight districts represented by those on the HHR Subcomittee to contact to ask them to support this amendment and include it in the budget. 

The process from here is conducted somewhat behind closed doors. The amendment is going to be considered with all budget amendments submitted by other members of the General Assembly. There are probably about 100 budget amendments in the Health and Human Resources area alone. The  Health and Human Resources Subcommittee  will take all of those amendments into consideration in comparison with what was in the Governor’s introduced budget and will report out those items that they want to see in the final budget. Unfortunately, there will not be any committee hearings or public discussion about the budget amendment. The process eventually evolves to a conference committee between the House and the Senate where they have to iron out the differences between what each chamber wants so that they can send a single, final budget to the Governor. 

We are excited about the possibility of an acupuncture pilot program here in Virginia, resembling that of Vermont’s, and hope that this budget amendment is pushed forward. 
ASA 2018 Legislative Tracking
One of the most important benefits of belonging to a national trade association is that of Advocacy Services. ASA has systems in place to not only identify and monitor federal and state legislation nationwide, but can also keep track of hearings, latest actions, additions of co-sponsors and amendments and regulatory & rule promulgation. For state associations, our system has an unlimited user, keyword, and bill service so that states can use the system for their own purposes and incorporate the maps onto their web pages so that their members can also monitor their state legislation, shepherd their bills and mobilize efforts in a unified and organized way.

ASA is currently tracking 75 bills that are related to the American Acupuncture Industry. We are also monitoring the increasing legislation introduced to address the current opioid crisis, which currently stands at 48 federal bills and over 400 state bills nationwide.

The information below is not a full list of everything ASA is monitoring. For more details and interactive legislative maps, please visit our webpage.
New State Licensing Bills
Changes Registration of Acupuncturists to Provide for Licensure of Acupuncturists
Sponsor: Margaret O'Brien-R District 20
Last Action:
11/30/2017: Referred to Committee on Health Policy
Creates the Oklahoma Acupuncture Practice Act
OK Acupuncture Practice Act:
Prohibiting Practice w/o License
Creates Acupuncture Committee:
States duties & requirements
Opioid and Pain Legislation
(Includes Acudetox, ADS & Nonpharmacologic Treatment)
Acupuncture Use for Pain Relief to Reduce Opioid Prescriptions Established, Report Required, and Money Appropriated
Voluntary Nonopioid Directive Form; Create and Require Certain Nonopioid Options for Pain
Reducing the Use of Certain Prescription Drugs
Insurance and Access Bills
(Includes State Universal Health Care, Medicaid, Medicare, Workers Comp, and Acupuncture as Covered Benefit)
Relative to the practice of acupuncture and providing for insurance benefits for certain acupuncture and oriental medicine treatment
Establishing Improved Medicare for All in Massachusetts by the creation of a single payer health system.
Authorizes the Care and Treatment of Injured Employees by Licensed or Certified Acupuncturists Under the Workers' Compensation Program

Relates to Mandatory Health Insurance Coverage for Acupuncture Services
Acupuncture Service Coverage Under Health Plans Required
Requires Health Insurance to Cover Acupuncture Services as a Benefit beginning Jan 1 2019
Allied Health Professions Legislation
(Includes Acupuncture & Dry Needling for Non-L.Ac.)
Removes Certain Acts that a Chiropractor is Prohibited from Practicing

Permits Certain Physical Therapists to Perform Dry Needling
Authorizes Certain Physical Therapists to Perform Dry Needling as a Treatment Technique
Detailed State Action
Acupuncture Board; Continuation
Sponsor: Heather Carter R-District 15

12/18/2017 : Prefile

1/9/2018 : Assigned to House RULES Committee
Assigned to House HEALTH Committee
Introduced in House and read first time

1/10/2018 : House read second time

1/11/2018 : House HEALTH Committee action: Do Pass voting: (8-0-0-1-0-0)
House Health (09:00 1/11/2018 HHR 4)

1/22/2018 : House consent calendar
House RULES Committee action:
constitutional and in proper form;
voting: (8-0-1-0-0)
House Rules (13:30 1/22/2018 HHR 4)

1/23/2018 : House minority caucus: Do pass
House majority caucus: Do pass
Acu Board; Visiting Professor Certificate
Sponsor: Heather Carter R-District 15

Introduced : 1/11/2018

Latest Action: House Health
(09:00 2/1/2018 HHR 4) 2/1/2018

Bill Text:
A. The board may issue a visiting professor certificate to an acupuncturist who has received a teaching position in a school of acupuncture in this state if that person demonstrates to the satisfaction of the board that the person has at least five years' experience in the practice of acupuncture and has adequate skill and training. The acupuncturist shall submit an application as prescribed by the board and shall submit the fee prescribed pursuant to section 32-3927.
B. A certificate issued pursuant to this section allows the certificate holder to practice acupuncture only in relation to the certificate holder's faculty position duties.
C. A certificate issued pursuant to this section is valid for one year. The board may grant a one year an extension not to exceed one year if the certificate holder submits an application at least thirty days before the certificate expires. The board may grant a total of two one-year extensions.
Workers' Comp-Liability for Payment
Sponsor: Adam Gray D-District 21

Introduced : 1/25/2017

Latest Action: In committee: Set, first hearing. Failed passage. 5/3/2017

Vote Details Com on INS:

Relevant Text:
4600. (a) Medical, surgical, chiropractic,  acupuncture , and hospital treatment, including nursing, medicines, medical and surgical supplies, crutches, and apparatuses, including orthotic and prosthetic devices and services, that is reasonably required to cure or relieve the injured worker from the effects of his or her injury shall be provided by the employer. In the case of his or her neglect or refusal reasonably to do so, the employer is liable for the reasonable expense incurred by or on behalf of the employee in providing treatment
The Healthy California Act
16 Sponsors

Summary: Acupuncture is included as Covered Health Care Benefit as written. Amendment underlined below addresses funding for implementation of act.

Latest Action: Read third time. Passed.
(Ayes 23. Noes 14. Page 1399.)
Ordered to the Assembly.  6/1/2017

Relevant Text:
This bill would prohibit this act from becoming operative until the Secretary of California Health and Human Services gives written notice to the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the Assembly that the Healthy California Trust Fund has the revenues to fund the costs of implementing the act. The California Health and Human Services Agency would be required to publish a copy of the notice on its Internet Web site.
Substance Use Disorder
Payment and Coverage
Bipartisan Sponsorship

Introduced : 1/10/2018

Latest Action: Introduced In House - Assigned to Public Health Care & Human Services 1/10/2018

Bill Summary:
Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Interim Study Committee. The bill requires all individual and group health benefit plans to provide coverage without prior authorization for a five-day supply of buprenorphine for a first request within a 12-month period. Additionally, all individual and group health benefit plans that cover physical therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic services shall not subject those services to dollar limits, deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance provisions that are less favorable than those applicable to primary care services under the plan if the covered person has a diagnosis of chronic pain and has or has had a substance use disorder diagnosis. 
Registered Psychotherapists Auricular Acudetox

Bill Summary:
Current law allows licensed mental health care professionals and level III certified addiction counselors who have documented that they have undergone auricular acudetox training to perform auricular acudetox. The bill allows registered psychotherapists who have documented that they have undergone the same training requirements to also perform auricular acudetox.

Last Action: Bill Crossed Over from Senate to House 1/26/2018

1/10/2018: Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Health & Human Services

1/17/2018: Senate Committee on Health & Human Services Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole

1/17/2018: Senate Health & Human Services Committee Hearing (07:00 Room LSB B)

1/22/2018: Senate Second Reading Laid Over Daily- No Amendments

1/23/2018: Senate 2nd Reading Passed - No Amendments

1/24/2018: Senate 3rd Reading Passed - No Amendments

1/26/2018: Introduced in House - Assigned to Health, Insurance & Environment
The Healthy Florida Program

Summary: Acupuncture is included as Covered Health Care Benefit.

Companion Bills:

Alternative Treatment Options
for Veterans

Introduced : 1/09/2018

Bill Summary:
Authorizing the Department of Veterans' Affairs to contract with certain individuals and entities to provide alternative treatment options for certain veterans; requiring direction and supervision by certain licensed providers, etc. Provides that acupuncture is performed by acupuncturists.

Companion Bills:

Relating to Acupuncture

Latest Action: 1/17/2018: Re-referred to HHS, CPC, referral sheet 1

Amendment Language:
"(c) Acupuncture treatments shall be allowed for no more than thirty visits at no more than [ $75 $ a visit[.; provided that this dollar amount shall increase by per cent and be rounded up to the nearest dollar on July 1, 2018, and subsequently increase in the same manner on July 1 of every year thereafter."

Relating to Health

1/20/2017: S Introduced.

1/23/2017: S Referred to CPH, WAM.

1/23/2017: S Passed First Reading.

1/25/2017: S The committee(s) on CPH has scheduled a public hearing on 01-31-17 9:00AM in conference room 229.

1/31/2017: S The committee(s) on CPH recommend(s) that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in CPH were as follows: 4 Aye(s): Senator(s) Baker, Nishihara, S. Chang, Espero; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; and 3 Excused: Senator(s) Ihara, Kidani, Ruderman.

1/31/2017: Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health Hearing (09:00 1/31/2017 Conference Room 229)

2/10/2017: S Report adopted; Passed Second Reading, as amended (SD 1) and referred to WAM.

2/10/2017: S Reported from CPH (Stand. Com. Rep. No. 111) with recommendation of passage on Second Reading, as amended (SD 1) and referral to WAM.

2/21/2017: S The committee(s) on WAM will hold a public decision making on 02-23-17 1:35PM in conference room 211.

2/23/2017: S The committee(s) on WAM deferred the measure until 02-24-17 1:45PM in conference room 211.

2/23/2017: Senate Ways and Means Decision (13:35 2/23/2017 Conference Room 211)

2/24/2017: S The committee(s) on WAM recommend(s) that the measure be PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes in WAM were as follows: 7 Aye(s): Senator(s) Tokuda, Galuteria, Harimoto, Inouye, Riviere, Shimabukuro, Wakai; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; and 4 Excused: Senator(s) Dela Cruz, English, K. Kahele, Taniguchi.

2/24/2017: Senate Ways and Means Hearing (13:45 2/24/2017 Conference Room 211)

3/2/2017:: S One Day Notice 03-03-17.

3/2/2017: S Reported from WAM (Stand. Com. Rep. No. 654) with recommendation of passage on Third Reading.

3/3/2017: H Received from Senate (Sen. Com. No. 34) in amended form (SD 1).

3/3/2017: S Report adopted; Passed Third Reading. Ayes, 24; Aye(s) with reservations: none . Noes, 0 (none). Excused, 1 (Senator(s) Gabbard). Transmitted to House.

3/7/2017: H Referred to CPC/HLT, FIN, referral sheet 26

3/7/2017: H Pass First Reading

11/30/2017: Carried over to 2018 Regular Session.
Latest Action: 1/17/2018: Re-referred to CPC/HHS, FIN, referral sheet 1

Relating to Health Care Practitioners

Bill Summary:
Requires health care providers to conspicuously post and communicate their specific type of licensure in their offices, communicate that information to patients in their practices, and include that information in their advertising. Imposes penalties for licensed health care providers who include deceptive or misleading information about their qualifications in their advertising, or misrepresent their qualifications to patients.
American Society of Acupuncturists | 240-432-7522| www.ASAcu.org