October 2019 Newsletter
From the Chair of the American Society of Acupuncturists

Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Supporters:

We are delighted to announce that the American Society of Acupuncturists has just been approved as a full member of the American Medical Association (AMA) Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee (HCPAC)! This position is critical to the participation of our profession on the national healthcare stage. It allows us to take part in conversations about how our services are coded and billed, and aid in the creation of new codes. 

Important factors such as the work of the AMA and the HCPAC in shaping American healthcare are often underappreciated. This committee acts as the voice for the non-MD/DO professions in this insurance arena within the AMA, allowing input into crafting the language that impacts our ability to bill and code for our services. The ASA thanks the AMA for its allowance of our participation, and we look forward to many years of productive contribution. We value the chance to contribute with our colleagues in voicing the needs and interests of the non-MD/DO provider community:

Nutritionists & Dieticians
Physician Assistants
Respiratory Care Therapists
Massage Therapists
Occupational Therapists
Physical Therapists
Speech Therapists
Athletic Trainers
Social Workers
Genetic Counselors

and now - Acupuncturists!

The journey to have Licensed Acupuncturists represented formally on this committee has been long. For nearly a decade, numerous organizations have worked to obtain a seat, including the AAAOM and the NCCAOM. ASA thanks both of these groups for their monumental efforts and generous support of ASA in this process. We also wish to acknowledge the work of Eric R. Buckley in leading us into this process, and Mori West for bringing us to completion. Amy Mager, Kallie Guimond, and I have also been deeply involved in this process, as have numerous other individuals over the years. We hope this next step will help to mature the profession, and allow us to best be co-developers of integrative medicine in U.S. healthcare. To view the CPT® Editorial Summary of Panel Action September 2019, please click here.


David W. Miller, MD, LAc
Chair, American Society of Acupuncturists
Welcome to the ASA Job Openings Board! 
We encourage all submissions which promote gainful employment in our profession. Please do not hesitate to submit job postings, office space rentals or if you know someone who wants to sell their practice, we would be more than happy to add them as well. Please submit to [email protected] so your submissions can be added to the board.
The ASA does reserve the right to edit one’s posting for tact, tenor, and tone, if it may be perceived as potentially inappropriate by others. To ensure the job openings board remains easy to use, please let me know when your submission is filled.

If you have ever submitted a job posting to us, please contact me directly and let me know if you want to maintain the posting or remove it.

Thank you for all you do for our profession.
Christine Cronin
Board Member at Large
Are you interested in mentoring an acupuncture student?
Thank you for all of you that expressed interest in being a mentor. We are looking into the best way to begin the process so that it is effective and sustainable. Thank you for your patience.
Keep an eye out in future newsletters for mentorship opportunities!

Come check out the official Journal of the American Society of Acupuncturists
Become a committee member!
The ASA is always looking for new members
to join our committees!

We currently need members for the Governance Committee.

for more information

Be part of the solution!
ASA at the 16th International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology
ASA’s Jason Bussell, Heather Schultz, Jennifer Stone, LiMing Tseng & Susan Veleber, along with numerous other acupuncturists were amongst the 491 attendees from nearly 30 countries at the  16th International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology  in New York City on October 19-21, 2019. Global initiative tracks of TCM and acupuncture oncology research were presented, along with integrative oncology research including lifestyle. The importance of the gut biome and its biodiversity, as well as the importance of exercise for oncology patients were highlighted. Additionally, there was an evening event to celebrate the 20 th  anniversary of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Integrative Health Program.

Dr. TingBao  was announced as the incoming SIO President at the SIO Annual Meeting. Additionally, the establishment of the Acupuncture Special Interest Group, led by Jennifer Stone, was announced at the Annual Meeting. SIO’s next conference will be held in Baltimore, Maryland on October 15-19, 2020.  
Monthly Legislative & Regulatory Report

Our legislative focus this month: Figuring out which states cover acupuncture under Medicaid

Many thanks for Dr. Tracy Soltesz for sharing!

If I missed anyone's additions from the email thread, I apologize


Outpatient services includes “acupuncture to the extent federal matching funds are provided for acupuncture.”

CA WEL & INST § 14132
22 CA ADC § 51308.5

Statutory and regulatory coverage for spinal cord injury.
Proposed legislation for coverage for use of acupuncture to treat Substance abuse.

CO ST § 25.5-6-1301
CO ST § 25.5-6-1302
10 CCR 2505-10:8.125
2018 CO H.B. 1007 (NS)


Looks like if it is recommended by a physician as a “medically necessary service,” it is covered.  
IA ADC 441-75.1(249A)
IA ADC 441-78.1(249A)

Proposed legislation to provide “coverage for twenty (20) visits per event of chronic pain treatments/” provided by a licensed professional including acupuncture,
2019 KY H.B. 424 (NS)


Proposed 2017 Pilot Project for Medicaid Reimbursement for Acupuncture Treatment of Substance Abuse

2017 ME H.P. 141 (NS)


Coverage for Acupuncture Detoxification , Treatment of Pain and Anesthesia Services

Proposed legislation to expand alternative care coverage which includes acupuncture.
130 MA ADC 418.404
130 MA ADC 410.438
130 MA ADC 405.474
130 MA ADC 433.440
2017 MA H.B. 4725 (NS)
2017 MA H.B. 4742 (NS)
2017 MA S.B. 2211 (NS)

You can read all about this here  http://www.acusocietyma.org/masshealth


Full coverage if performed by state licensed acupuncturist.

Proposed Legislation in which “the commissioner of human services shall study the use of opiates for the treatment of chronic pain conditions when acupuncture services are also part of the treatment for chronic pain as compared to opiate use among medical assistance recipients who are not receiving acupuncture. In comparing the sample groups, the commissioner shall look at each group's opiate use and other services as identified by the commissioner. “

MN ST § 256B.0625
017 MN S.F. 800 (NS)
2017 MN S.F. 2 (NS)


Home and Community-Based Services Waiver for Adults with Severe Disabling Mental Illness
MT ADC 37.90.416
New Hampshire

Proposed legislation “requires the department of health and human services to create a voluntary non-opioid directive form which may be used for non-opioid treatment options for pain.” This would included acupuncture.
2019 NH H.B. 610 (NS)

New Jersey

Defiantly covered if performed as a form of anesthesia in connection with covered surgery. I am unclear if it is covered for other reasons. Various online resources seem to suggest that it is and the second regulation cited here lists it as a services “Services available under the Work First New Jersey/General Assistance (WFNJ/GA) program.”
NJ ADC 10:49-5.7
N.J.A.C. 10:49–24.3
New Mexico

Statues provides public assistance coverage of “Licensed doctors of oriental medicine.”
NM ST § 27-2-12
2019 NM S.B. 508 (NS)
2019 NM S.B. 132 (NS)


Medicaid coverage of acupuncture services with an acupuncturist “a valid certificate to practice.”

OH ADC 5160-8-51

Coverage for wide range of reasons, including pain, surgery, drug use recovery, etc.
OR ADC 410-120-0000
OR ADC 410-120-1160
OR ADC 410-172-0670

Rhode Island

In RI, some Medicaid programs cover Acupuncture.

2019 proposed legislation is an act relating to Medicaid coverage for acupuncture

2017 Proposed legislation for the Department of Vermont Health Access to conduct the first year of a two-year research study into the effects of increased access to acupuncture care on utilization of and expenditures on other medical services for individuals enrolled in Medicaid and commercial health insurance in Vermont.
2019 VT H.B. 323 (NS)
2017 VT H.B. 13 (NS)
2017 VT H.B. 16 (NS)

West Virginia

Proposed legislation as an alternative to opioids to treat pain.
2018 WV S.B. 273 (NS)

ACAOM Call for Public Comment on
Degree Structure and Title Designations
Comment period closes at 4:30pm US Central Time on 6 December 2019

As a result of interest from the acupuncture and Oriental medicine community and other stakeholders, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (‘ACAOM’ or ‘Commission’) initiated efforts in 2014 to clarify its degree structure and title designations. After review of this extensive work, including the results of ACAOM’s modified-Delphi project, associated surveys, and subsequent public comment, the Commission approved a revised degree structure with naming conventions designed to bring consistency to the field of degree programs that ACAOM accredits at its February 2019 semi-annual meeting. 

This policy was further updated in July 2019 after receiving additional input from the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM). 

Consistent with ACAOM’s long-standing practice to provide notice to all relevant stakeholders and constituencies (“interested parties”) of proposed changes, give the interested parties adequate opportunity to comment as well as use the input received to help inform proposed changes; the Commission agrees that there is merit in providing all communities of interest an opportunity to provide thoughtful and data-supported additional public comment with regard to degree structure changes. To that end, the Commission suspended full implementation of the policy in order to permit additional public comment.

The relevant policy (as updated in July 2019) may be viewed here
and may be downloaded here

The Commission also issued a position paper regarding ACAOM-accreditable doctoral programs in July 2019, which provides some additional context relating to Commission naming convention and that commenters may find useful to review. The position paper may be viewed here


Interested parties are invited to comment on the proposed revisions to the  Standards  outlined above, using any of the following methods:
1. Electronically, via the following link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/degreestructure2019

2. By electronic mail, in the form of a letter (document attachment is acceptable), sent to  [email protected]

3. By surface mail, in the form of a letter, sent to:

8941 Aztec Dr., Suite 2
Eden Prairie, MN 55347
Attn: Public Comment – Degree structure

Comments must be  received  no later than  4:30pm US Central Time  on  
6 December 2019 .  Comments must be limited to the proposed change; comments that do not pertain specifically to the proposed change will not be considered at this time.  

Comments timely submitted will be considered by the Commission. ACAOM cannot guarantee that comments relating to this matter received after the due date and time will be considered.
By Mina M. Larson, M.S., MBA, CAE – NCCAOM CEO

In 2013, NCCAOM created the first route for former Diplomates whose certification terminated to reinstate their NCCAOM certification. Currently, a former Diplomate who does not renew their terminated NCCAOM certification must take a Reinstatement Exam as one of the requirements to demonstrate maintenance of competencies in order to return to active status.
Over the last few months, the NCCAOM Board. staff and I has been reviewing this route as we have received a lot of valuable feedback from many former Diplomates, several ASA leaders speaking on behalf of their constituents, and others to request this route be reexamined as many former Diplomates have expressed interest in returning to active status.

These requests, along with the increase in employers requiring NCCAOM certification as a pre-requisite for employment, such as with the Veterans Administration (VA) and other federal agencies, hospitals, as well as provider requirements from many third-party payors, prompted the NCCAOM Board of Commissioners to create a Reinstatement Taskforce. This Taskforce worked together with input and approval from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA ) (NCCA accredits NCCAOM’s certification programs) to create a temporary 18-month Reinstatement Route in order for NCCAOM former Diplomates to be able to return to active status by demonstrating competency maintenance by submitting coursework in the core AOM domains.
The number of PDA/CEUs due will be based on the former Diplomates’ last active certification expiration date.  The purpose of a reinstatement process is to ensure that former Diplomates in terminated status, who have held a free and clear active State license to practice, have maintained the competencies necessary for safe practice. 

Our staff is creating the NCCAOM Time-limited Reinstatement Route FAQ , to answer all of the detailed questions concerning eligibility requirements, the fees, and concerns from individuals who are part of the current reinstatement process or were previously NCCAOM certified. I am excited to announce that the new NCCAOM’s Time-limited Reinstatement Route will be implemented in December 2019 .  The NCCAOM is also retiring the current Reinstatement exam as of December 31, 2019. Please stay tuned for more detailed information about this route in the coming month.

During the 18 months this time limited policy is in effect the NCCAOM staff, Board and I will be working to develop a solution for a revised permanent reinstatement route. We thank the ASA leadership and everyone who shared important feedback and their experience with us as we worked with the NCCA to create this temporary route. 
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ASA Members: State Associations in Action
The Acupuncture Society of MA continues to work to move legislation out of committee which would mandate all public and private insurance plans to cover acupuncture for the treatment of pain. 

To find your MA legislator and ask her/him to support acupuncture access for all MA residents as well as support health care practitioner best practices for inserting an acupuncture needle, please visit  https://malegislature.gov/search/findmylegislator
At the beginning of 2019, I was seeking a venue for our annual fundraiser. I visited a local brewery to see if it would work. The business card of the proprietor said that he was the president of the PrAG Public Relations Advisory Group. For a long time, I have thought that our profession needed to do a better job communicating to the public about the benefits of AOM and why one should seek us out for health care. So, I gave him a call and we met. Our NMSAAM board agreed to enter into a contract and see what we could do. His fee was fairly modest and the time span was defined so it felt like a reasonable experiment.

The first thing that we did together was survey our New Mexico practitioners. The number of respondents was pretty small but it was a start. Our wonderful secretary Elene Gusch was able to get PSA spots on our local public TV station. We will be doing a series of press releases. On November 5th, our Vice President Yvonne Walston and I will be interviewed on local television about acupuncture and our association.

We have wonderful resources from the ASA, NCCAOM, ANF, EBA and some other places that we have shared with channel 13 to back up our statements.

Our profession has a great story to tell and documents to back it up. We hope to encourage more of our friends and neighbors to seek acupuncture first!

John Scott, DOM
The Washington Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine Association entered into a Sunrise Review over the summer for an increase in scope around Point Injection Therapy (PIT) and some clarifications of language around Trigger Point needling, Japanese acupuncture techniques and ear acupuncture. The original bill,  SHB 1865 Regulating the practice of acupuncture and Eastern medicine   passed during the Legislative session which changed the name of the profession from "East Asian Medicine" to "Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine" and also included a continuing education requirement for the profession that will be determined in rule over the next year.

The name change came about from many of our members feeling that the term "East Asian medicine practitioner" was derogatory due to historical events that took place in China. The term Acupuncture and Eastern medicine was decided upon after many discussions in an attempt to create an overarching term that could include everyone and also had "acupuncture" to better align with federal legislation. We are all happy to say that the title serves us well and we have grandfathered in previous titles: LAc and EAMP should others prefer to retain them. 

Discussions around language for the  Sunrise Review  has offered us an opportunity to engage in conversations with the Physical Therapists, MDs, Orthopedic Doctors and the Naturopathic Doctors. We have not yet determined final language and are doing the rounds checking in with everyone. While this is a fair amount of work and requires a lot of diligence, it has been an excellent opportunity to educate others about who we are and what we do. We are hoping to include local anesthetics (lidocaine and procaine specifically), epinephrine for use with PIT and terminology specifying that we do Dry Needling/ Trigger Point Needling.

The determination that we got from the Department of Health was that the PIT additions are considered an increase in scope, while Dry Needling/Trigger Point Needling, Japanese acupuncture techniques, ear acupuncture techniques are all within our current scope.  Comments were due on October 16th and we are waiting for the final draft of the Sunrise Review report which will be used to run the bill in the 2020 legislative session.

Outside of our legislation, the biggest project that we are working on is Insurance! We have an insurance committee going and our members have said that this is their number 1 priority for WAEMA to work on. It was fantastic timing to get Mori West to come and do an  Insurance Seminar  for us, which will happen on November 23rd and 24th. This is the first time that Mori will be doing a seminar in our state and we hope everyone takes advantage of her expertise in order to get reimbursed well as well as understanding the larger dynamics of the Insurance world.

Charis Wolf
President, Washington Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine Association
On October 27, 2019, WISCA held its Annual Meeting at Aurora Women's Pavilion in West Allis, WI! Nearly 40 "professional needlers" came from as far as the northwoods of Door County and far westside of La Crosse, WI, to attend this gathering!

The meeting began on-time at 9am with a 4-hr CEU event to balance one's autonomic nervous system through body posture, taught by renowned biofeedback and aromatherapy acupuncturist Michelle Meramour. The material covered in the 4 hours included multiple demos by attendants and a wonderful in-depth explanation about how postures affect the nervous system.

Then, the CEU event was followed by a wonderful organic networking lunch from Beans & Barley. Once the meeting attendees were fed, they engaged in lively discussions during the afternoon business meeting that included presentations on WISCA 2019 financial report with a preliminary budget for 2019-20, the unveil of website (ASA-led effort) and its detailed walkthrough, introduction of new communication mediums such as WeChat and Zoom, as well as meeting new BOD electoral / candidates who gave their introductions, etc.

The meeting concluded on time at 4pm and there were many new faces in the crowd along with many old colleagues getting acquainted and reacquainted with each other.

Thanks to Michelle Meramour's wonderful AM lecture and demos! Thanks to Carolyn Micek, Louis Jin, Megan Bielinski, Alison Werner and the rest of the old BOD along with Michael Culotti's assistance in finalizing the venue and organize the event! Thank you for the presence and long-standing support from leaders and past presidents Kelly Hora, David Bock, Kate Behrens, Amy Crikelair, etc. Thanks to the new student liaison nominee Rachel LaClair for wonderful photos. Finally, especially thanks to all the attendees (members and students, existing and newly joined!) who sacrificed their Sunday, birthday and their kiddo's Halloween trick/treat to come to WISCA's annual gathering. #ONWISCA! #ONASA!
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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 [email protected] .

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 [email protected] . 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 | 619-847-9613 | [email protected] | www.ASAcu.org