The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) and the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) have announced their support H.R. 4803, the Acupuncture for Our Seniors Act that U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) introduced on July 29, 2021. H.R. 4803 would authorize the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to recognize qualified acupuncturists as health care providers. Medicare recognition would enable qualified acupuncturists to provide covered services to Medicare beneficiaries—more than 60 million Americans.
Acupuncturists currently cannot provide services to Medicare beneficiaries without supervision, even though their training and scope of practice enable them to practice independently. This disrupts the acupuncture service-delivery model, as they cannot receive direct reimbursement for the services they provide to Medicare beneficiaries, who in turn, cannot readily access their services.
Research demonstrates that is effective in providing high quality, personalized care that helps individuals manage pain—without opioids and invasive procedures—and embrace preventive and wellness care options.
“As the national acupuncture professional trade association, the ASA applauds Representative Judy Chu, and her work to include qualified acupuncturists as providers under Medicare.” Olivia Hsu Friedman, DACM, LAc, ASA Chair.
Obtaining Medicare provider status for acupuncturists is a priority for the ASA and the NCCAOM. This recognition would enable qualified acupuncturists to improve the health and quality of life of individuals and their families. “As the national Board-certification body for acupuncturists, the NCCAOM attests to the competence, experience, and skill sets required of NCCAOM Board Certified Acupuncturists to ensure safe, high quality, effective patient care.” Mina Larson, MS, MBA, CAE, NCCAOM CEO.
The Acupuncture for Our Seniors Act would provide access to cost-effective, evidence-based, high-quality care, for over 60-million beneficiaries. The ASA and the NCCAOM look forward to engaging members of Congress and the profession in this effort.