January 2019 Newsletter
ASA January 2019 Newsletter
Happy New Year!

 Dear Colleagues:

2019 is already shaping up to be big for acupuncture with two calls for commentary from the federal government. First, the Department of Health and Human Services is asking for feedback on its draft pain control guidelines:  See Draft Pain Control Guidelines O verall, this is an excellent document from the integrative standpoint, and boldly includes acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and other modalities in a way that has never happened previously. Secondly, the Centers Medicare and Medicaid Services has put out a call for commentary on its consideration of the inclusion of acupuncture for the management of low back pain.   See Call for Commentary These are both milestones regardless of the outcome, and show that acupuncture is being seriously considered for inclusion in American healthcare. The American Society of Acupuncturists will be submitting comments on both of these, and have collaborated with other national organizations on this effort.  

The conversation on acupuncture's inclusion into healthcare has changed from "will it ever be included" to "how soon will it be included". More importantly for our profession, who will be providing that acupuncture? While many are rightfully ambivalent about acupuncture's inclusion in insurance programs, that is simply the trend. It is the end result of the work of many professionals from many sectors, and believe it or not, will happen with or without the Licensed Acupuncturist professional group. As acupuncture is truly understood to be both effective and cost-effective, as well as safe and actually enjoyed by the public, it will become a highly desired service. The ASA is strongly advocating for inclusion of LAc's in the process. While we certainly have concerns about reimbursement, bureaucracy, problems of healthcare delivery, and more, our greater concern is if acupuncture moves forward and Licensed Acupuncturists do not, it will be fatally detrimental to the profession.  

These issues and more will be discussed at the ASA national meeting June 1-3, 2019 in Washington, D.C. We will have a chance to listen to leaders in mainstream and integrative medicine, and understand the challenges and opportunities that are emerging for us. We will discuss visioning for our profession, and how to create a strong, clear, professional national voice for the industry. Please join us. These are times like we have not seen previously.

David W. Miller, MD, LAc
Chair, American Society of Acupuncturists
Please share our newsletter with anyone who shows interest in this work
A significant step forward was taken in Florida and we thank member organization FSOMA for insisting on good legal process! 

On January 28, 2019, Judge Stevenson upheld the opinion that attempts by the Florida physical therapy board to expand scope of practice to include acupuncture/dry needling by rule rather than by formal scope expansion exceeded the powers of that board. This is a win for proper management of professional scope and regulation. 

The formal judgement can be found here  Click Here

Next steps in this process will likely mean a discussion at the practice act level, with the physical therapy professional organizations needing to expand scope via formal legislation. This is a long and involved process, but gives the public the right to weigh in on whether it wants this expansion, and, if so, what limits should be in place to assure public safety.
Free NCI & NCCIH Workshop on Acupuncture Research: Cancer, Pain, Substance Abuse

Translating Fundamental Science of Acupuncture into Clinical Practice: -- for Cancer Symptom Management, Pain, and Substance Abuse

Date And Time
Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 8:30 AM –
Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 5:30 PM EST

Lister Hill Auditorium
8600 Rockville Pike
NIH Building 38A
Bethesdsa, MD 20894

Come join us at our inaugural ASA Conference
An introduction to one of our esteemed speakers: Dr. Len Wisneski MD, FACP
The American Society of Acupuncturists’ upcoming first national meeting, “The State of our Union”, to be held June 1-3, 2019 in Washington, D.C. will be an event that is wholly different than we have seen previously in the profession. This meeting is neither an academic conference, nor a purely internal discussion, but rather a conference to connect our profession with leaders throughout the medical and legislative fields. It is a chance for us to listen as a professional group, and gain insights into where American medicine is headed, and how we as a professional group can fit into that picture. It is a chance for us to introduce ourselves to thought leaders from major governmental, military, not-for-profit, and insurance entities, so that Licensed Acupuncturists can begin to step onto the national stage as a well-informed, solidly grounded force for positive change in U.S. healthcare.

We are thrilled to have Dr. Len Wisneski MD, FACP as keynote speaker at our inaugural conference. Dr. Wisneski is chairman of the board of the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium, (IHPC), which promotes national legislation pertaining to integrative healthcare. He is a clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University Medical Center, and adjunct faculty in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, division of integrative physiology, at Georgetown University where he is a founding member of the complementary and alternative medicine curriculum planning committee. He also holds faculty positions in the Departments of Medicine and Nursing at The University of Colorado. He served as Vice Chairman of the National Institute of Health, (NIH), Consensus Panel on Acupuncture and is Chairman of the NIH Advisory Board on Frontier Sciences at the University of Connecticut. He holds fellowship positions in The American College of Physicians, The American College of Nutrition, and The American Institute of Stress. He served on the board of the American Holistic Medical Association and was President of the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine. He is also a Research Advisor to The International Hyperbaric Medicine Association and serves on the advisory board of The Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Healthcare. Dr. Wisneski has published over 30 scientific articles and a textbook, The Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine . He has been in the clinical practice of endocrinology and integrative medicine for over 30 years.

In his role as Chair of the Board of Directors of the IHPC, Dr. Wisneski led the first annual Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress in San Diego in 2017, and the second in Boston at Harvard University in 2018. Dr. Wisneski also led the first Integrative Health and Wellness caucus on Capitol Hill where he spoke about the crisis of physical, emotional and psychological pain in the US and how patients benefit from integrative medicine, including acupuncture. He reminds us that the opioid crisis is ONE of the many pieces involved in this pain epidemic, and we will learn how acupuncture and acupuncturists can be part of the solution to our current healthcare crisis.

We hope every practitioner of this medicine, and all of those who love it and wish for it to thrive in the U.S., will join us to hear Dr. Wisneski and other phenomenal leaders. Together we can strengthen this profession to the benefit of the public, and have fun and satisfaction on that path.

You can read about the IHPC mission led by Dr. Len Wisneski MD, FACP here: IHPC Mission
The State of Our Union: Acupuncture in US Healthcare
Washington, DC

06/01/19 - 06/03/19

I'll be there!
I can't make it
ASA members receive
20% discount on Fundamentals of Oncology Acupuncture Online Program through MSKCC

Click here for more information . Contact your member State Association for more information.
ASA Publications
Monthly Legislative Report
After years of attempting to get a dry needling code through the AMA CPT by the chiropractors and physical therapists, a new code for needling without retention has been introduced. The ASA was present for this discussion, and strongly influenced the outcome to, as best as possible, minimize confusion with the existing acupuncture codes. The AMA agreed that any type of needling with needle retention meets the definition of acupuncture as it stands in the code set, and so any type of needling with needle retention must use the existing codes. Professionals wishing to use needle techniques that do not include needle retention can now identify that procedure using the new code, which is placed under the medical-surgical section of the code set in approximation to the trigger point injection codes. This compromise in the code set has tremendous implications for the acupuncture community, in that it negates a need to open up all practice acts to add "dry needling" to scope. There is no "dry needling" code. There is a code that can be used by anyone with invasive needling in scope who is doing needling without retention or injection.

Other issues for acupuncturists legislatively is the reaction to the recent passage of HR6: The SUPPORT Act which addresses the nation's opioid crisis. While the massive bill amounts to a large amount of studies, it does appear that states are beginning to eye non-pharmacological treatment options to be provided and reimbursed. Acupuncture is at the top of each state's list for complementary therapies and CMS is now studying both the barriers to
current access and the efficacy studies aimed at acupuncture in geriatric populations. The current barriers to access amount to the fact that
acupuncture is covered by Medicaid in less than ten states and not covered by Medicare at all. Pain management, integrative therapies and auricular
detox specialists round out the list of important topics included in many states' legislative agendas for the year.

From a regulatory point of view, public commentary is being asked for by the Federal Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) regarding best
practices in pain management. The draft is being circulated in both acupuncture communities and within the integrative health environment. You may find the draft here: See Draft Pain Control Guidelines

For more information, contact Kallie Guimond, Director of Government Affairs, Integrative Health Policy Consortium and American Society of Acupuncturists Board Member At Large. kguimond@ihpc.org
ASA Members: State Associations in Action
!!!!FEBRUARY 2019!!!

CSOMA and Lhasa OMS Partner to Empower Your Practice

February 9th-10th, 2019
Malibu, CA

"Love Your Practice" event

CSOMA believes that one of the best ways to empower the acupuncture profession is by helping our practitioners be financially successful!

Together with Lhasa OMS, CSOMA is excited to create a 2-day event that will provide business-building and networking opportunities to help you get to the next level with your practice.

For more details
For questions or comments please email Info@csomaonline.org
Please visit our 2018 Year in Review at See our newsletter
On Sunday February 24, 2019
Being held at Wesleyan University
10:30AM - 12:30PM

Followed by an Afternoon CEU class
1:30PM - 4:30 PM

On March 30 & 31, Sat & Sunday
Being Held at Wesleyan University
Choose one or both days from CTSA Home page to register
Day 1: Beginning Billing
Day 2: Exams and Bullet Proof Documentation
The Acupuncture Society of Massachusetts has submitted a bill into the House and Senate of the 2019 legislative session. HD 1567 and SD 1574 to advocate for insurance coverage for acupuncture for the treatment of pain and the prevention and treatment of opiod addiction. Representative Smitty Pignatelli is sponsoring the House version and Senator Eric Lesser is sponsoring the Senate version. We are hopeful that this will be the year to significantly decrease barriers to access to the care patients want in MA to treat their pain.

for the NCSAAM Annual Symposium. 
Early bird registration ends 3/1. 

Advanced Pediatrics TCM and Shonishin

March 30-31, 2019 
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

 Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Durham/Research Triangle Park
4620 S. Miami Blvd. Durham, NC 27703

Become a true family practitioner by offering a needle-less,
painless and drugless method.
No previous experience or coursework necessary!

Seats are Limited to 50!

Click here for more info and to register

From the President of the Tennessee Acupuncture Council
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee has dropped oxycontin from its covered precriptions and added acupuncture coverage. To read more information, click here

In addition, w e have finalized our draft for an updated practice act and are prepared to submit it for the 2019 legislative session. 
ASA Videos

Top 8 Things
Acupuncture Treats

Opioid Solution
How to Get Involved with ASA
State Association Membership:
There are many avenues to being involved with the American Society of Acupuncturists. To enjoy the full benefits of membership, we encourage Licensed Acupuncturists to join their state association that is a member of ASA. You are considered a member of the ASA at no additional charge. State Associations that are currently members of ASA can be found here . State associations who are interested in membership with ASA may contact our Board Secretary LiMing Tseng at Secretary@asacu.org .

Other Ways to Be Involved:

Licensed Practitioners and Acupuncture Students who are unaffiliated with state associations may receive information about the state and federal regulatory and legislative environments, along with newsworthy announcements about the acupuncture industry by becoming an Associate of the ASA. Options for sitting on the Council, serving on Committees, or voting are not included in this option. For more information, please contact ASA Board Member Dr. Christine Cronin, DAOM, L.Ac at Newsletter@asacu.org . You may also sign up to receive information directly at www.asacu.org.

To Sign Up for Membership & Support Online, Visit Our Website:

American Society of Acupuncturists | 240-432--7522 | Newsletter@asacu.org | www.ASAcu.org